Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/1/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Comet isn't getting much attention as it falls below predictions.

Comet ISON is now closer to the Sun than Earth, having crossed Earth's orbit on Wednesday. The comet is behaving a bit strangely as it aims for its first-and last high-speed pass across the surface of the Sun.

Comet ISON as imaged last month.

Comet ISON as imaged last month.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/1/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Comet ISON, close approach, great comet, viewing, visibility, magnitude


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Around Oct. 19, amateur observations of Comet ISON revealed the once-lauded "Comet of the Century" was brightening quickly. Now in the past several days, as it sweeps past Earth, observers have gone so far as to report the object dimming slightly. What gives?

Comet ISON, it appears, is behaving more like a solid body than a traditional comet. While it is very much a comet, it isn't emitting as much dust as comets normally do. It is still emitting gas and will continue to do both as it approaches the Sun and continues to warm.

Perhaps because of its lackluster performance, not many people have made mention of it recently. Certainly the media has been relatively quiet about this icy visitor from deep space.

On Nov. 28, Thanksgiving day in the U.S., ISON will pass just three-quarters of a million miles above the surface of the Sun.  Tidal forces could rip the comet apart. Alternatively, the comet could survive, having been heated enough to cause it to spew more dust and gas than ever before. That outgassing is expected to make the comet bright enough to see with the naked eye.

ISON should appear as a naked eye object in late November, being visible to casual observers in the first week of December.

The composition of the comet has much to do with how it performs. It is possible that the comet is more rocky than is typical, a fact that could make the object dimmer because it might not cast off as much dust and gas.

For anyone wishing to view the comet now, a telescope is your best bet. Binoculars may make out ISON, if you know what you're looking for. In most observations, it will appear as a small, fuzzy patch. The bright tail and other famous features of comets will not develop until December. Often those features require long-exposure images to reveal the fine and impressive detail.

Most of us will experience ISON for the first time in a little less than a month now, as it rises into the eastern sky after dark.

How bright it will eventually become, and if it will survive its close encounter with the sun is a mystery we are all anxious to see resolved. However, one thing is clear. Comet ISON probably isn't going to be the Comet of the Century. That distinction will belong to another freezing visitor from deep space that is already well on its way towards the Sun, but remains distant and undiscovered for now.

This chart shows the path of Comet ISON in the sky through December.

This chart shows the path of Comet ISON in the sky through December.



A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Technology

Astronomers discover a new 'Super Earth' proving the Kepler spacecraft still has the right stuff despite malfunction Watch

Image of Kepler has discovered hundreds of new planets, proving that planets are a normal part of stellar formation.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Kepler planet hunting probe has detected another Earth-like planet 180 light-years from the Sun. The planet is massive and hot and uninhabitable, but it demonstrates once again that scientists have the ability to detect these new worlds with increasing accuracy. ... continue reading


Anywhere in the world in four hours or less: Space plane receives approval from European Space Agency Watch

Image of Reaction Engines proclaim that the technology is the biggest step in air travel since the jet engine was invented.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A futuristic plane that could fly anyone anywhere in the world in four hours or less, as well as carry spaceships out of the atmosphere without using rockets, has come closer to reality. The European Space Agency has given approval to the Skylon plane this ... continue reading


BURP! There! Proof of life existing on the planet Mars Watch

Image of If the gas were coming from living microbes on Mars, the finding would mark one of the biggest discoveries in history.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Belches...and worse, could have just proven the evidence of life on Mars. NASA's Curiosity Rover has detected mysterious spikes of methane. These rude outbursts can't be explained away by geology or other theories. The rover has been on Mars since 2012. ... continue reading


Are you a receptionist, security guard or retail clerk? You could soon be replaced by a ROBOT Watch

Image of Royal Caribbean cruise lines have installed new bionic bars with machine robots that fix passengers their drinks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Automation works well if it spares humans from dangerous and monotonous tasks. While many have lost their line of work in assembly lines to nimble-fingered machines, the next wave of robotic replacement may soon well take the place of jobs requiring a more ... continue reading


Catch me if you can: A new device aims to catch wandering Alzheimer's patients and bring relief to caregivers Watch

Image of Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million people in the United States.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately five million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer's. 65 percent of those patients wander. They get up in the middle of the night and take off. Many times these patients get lost or injured. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenneth ... continue reading


Americans have a new champion for privacy -- Microsoft. Software giant squares off with Feds over private customer data held overseas Watch

Image of Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans concerned about their privacy have a new champion, and he comes from an unlikely stable - the ranks of Microsoft. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, is preparing to fight against the U.S. government as they demand Microsoft hand over private, encrypted ... continue reading


Scientists believe they've found first physical evidence of mysterious 'Dark Matter' Watch

Image of After the spectrum from the Perseus cluster and Andromeda were analyzed, scientists saw spikes where nothing should exist.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Scientists came up with the concept of "Dark Matter," an elusive physical property more than 70 years ago. After years of searching, scientists have now uncovered evidence that Dark Matter may in fact exist - in an area where it should theoretically exist. LOS ... continue reading


The death of political ads on TV approaches as more people turn to the internet for media Watch

Image of The political TV ad is dying as more people move online for their media.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're planning to go into politics, don't ignore the internet and what an incredibly powerful tool it is. The internet is not only essential, it is a crucial multiplier of force, allowing a candidate to maximize limited financial resources. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Water DID NOT come to Earth from comets, Rosetta probe concludes Watch

Image of The heretofore unprecedented close-up look at a comet is helping scientists answer the fundamental question of whether a bombardment of these primitive bodies brought water to Earth billions of years ago.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Europe's Rosetta mission, which made history by landing on Comet 67P last month, has come up with a controversial finding that is currently being debated by scientists. According to the Rosetta's latest findings, water did not come to the Earth from comets. LOS ... continue reading


Mars rover uncovers astonishing evidence of water, life on Mars Watch

Image of The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars. Scientists have reached the conclusion that at least some of the planet must ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter