Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Comet is approaching the orbit of Mars, Earth is next!

Comet ISON is approaching Mars and will make its closest approach to that planet around Oct. 19. Backyard astronomers with good telescopes can now spot the much-anticipated comet.

Even to the Hubble, ISON is little more than a fuzzy patch. That will change after the comet passes the frost line.

Even to the Hubble, ISON is little more than a fuzzy patch. That will change after the comet passes the frost line.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

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


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The most anticipated comet of the century is now approaching the orbit of Mars and will pass close enough to the Red Planet to be imaged by a telescope by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter around the planet, or the Curiosity rover on the surface. When it happens, it will become the first comet to be photographed from Mars.

Comet ISON is approaching the "frost line" which is the point where water vapor will sublimate from the surface causing the comet to appear mush brighter than its current magnitude of 13. The brighter the comet, the easier it will be to spot.

Already, as the comet warms it has cast off dust and vapor allowing astronomers to capture images of the swift visitor to our inner solar system.

For observers on the ground, a telescope of 10 inches or better diameter, should be able to resolve the object under dark-sky conditions. Intrepid viewers will need to be out just before dawn, and should look for ISON to the left of Mars as a faint, fuzzy patch.

Even in the large scopes, the comet is difficult to see and looks like a puff of cloud against the black of space.

This tiny patch will brighten however, and will put on a display like none other in decades, or so astronomers hope.

In November, ISON will brighten enough to be visible to the naked eye. Billions of people will see the comet just as it races towards its close approach to the Sun on Nov. 23. On that day, the comet will whip around the Sun, less than a million miles from its surface.

The arrow shows where to look for Comet ISON now.

The arrow shows where to look for Comet ISON now.


What happens next is a guess. The comet may break apart and fizzle out in the heat of the sun, or it may survive and cast off spectacular volumes of vapor, brightening so much that it rivals the full moon in the sky.

For a few days at least, the comet could even be visible under daylight.

However, this is the range of predictions, based on its size and close approach to the Sun. Other comets have done similar things with widely varied results. Much depends on the composition, size, and quality of the comet. It is believed ISON is a first-time visitor to the inner solar system, so it should be brighter than others which have already lost much of their vapor through repeated passes by the Sun.

Also, ISON is on a trajectory to leave the solar system after it buzzes the Sun in November. The comet is confirmed to be on an "ejection" trajectory meaning that it will fly out into deep space and never return to the solar system again.

It will only be a matter of time before another dramatic comet graces our skies. Comets are actually common visitors to the inner solar system, and there are at least a few taking aim at the Sun at any given time. However, only a few comets in a decade are bright enough and close enough to be seen with the naked eye on Earth.

Only one in centuries is bright enough to see during the day, but they do occur, and will occur again.

For skywatchers with large telescopes, it's time to start looking. For the rest of us, we have just weeks to go before we can see the skyshow of a lifetime.

Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Technology

HACK ATTACK: Islamic State Hacking Division claims Ghost Security is all talk Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The digital war between the Islamic State Hacking Division and Ghost Security has come to a head with the ISHD reporting to The Blaze that Ghost Security "have hacked nothing" and "are all talk." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After the claim that Ghost Security ... continue reading


SMARTPHONE BREAKTHROUGH: Hydrogen-powered battery powers iPhone for a week Watch

Image of Containing a rechargeable battery and its own-patented technology, the device recreates electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

British-based Intelligent Energy, thought to be working closely with Apple, have reported success in creating the world's first hydrogen-fueled battery. The battery, they say, will enable users to charge their iPhone for up to a week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Chicago Pastor creates mobile Bible app to personalize verses Watch

Image of Smartphone users can now personalize Bible verses through ToYou app.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians are in for something new as a pastor from Chicago came up with an app that lets users personalize Bible verses according to their name and gender. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Pastor Gregory Ijiwola, who serves at The CityLight Church in ... continue reading


Single DNA molecule to store digital information for millions of year Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Modern technology has earned us numerous breakthroughs, including digital information systems and storage, making our day to day tasks easier. However, drives we use for information technology can only last from a couple of years to few decades, which is limiting the ... continue reading


7 Healthy Tech Habits to Teach Kids this Year Watch

Image of

By Stephanie Pacheco

The near-infinite web of information available online is a double-edged sword: it can be harnessed to help us learn and communicate, but it can swiftly degenerate into instant-gratification and isolation. Technology has branched out from computers to tablets and ... continue reading


They're watching you! Digital peepholes face a fine line between security and invasion of privacy Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sharing your thoughts, activities and whereabouts has never been easier and faster with the internet and connected devices. More and more people are sharing more of their daily lives that it's compelling to say that to know everything is becoming common and normal. ... continue reading


Innovative space invention promises to reach space locations in record times Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A once rejected drive can now revolutionize the entire outer space research, as NASA and several others confirmed this program actually works. The invention was previously rejected by scientists after it defied the physics concept of the conservation of momentum, ... continue reading


Is your phone in danger? Threatening malicious text message can hack Android's inner system Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With just a simple text message, your phone and all its data may be compromised without you even knowing. The core of this nightmare is at the heart of the operating system itself - Stagefright, an Android code library. Users currently have nothing much to protect ... continue reading


Pope Francis uses iPad to become first person registered for 2016's World Youth Day Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On Sunday, Pope Francis successfully became the first person registered for the 2016 edition of the World Youth Day, using an iPad. Before registering, he addressed thousands at the St. Peter's Square in an appeal for the release of an Italian Jesuit priest kidnapped ... continue reading


EARTH'S TWIN: Kepler 452b heralded as the most similar planet to Earth yet discovered Watch

Image of While Kepler-452b is larger than Earth, it's 385-day orbit is only five percent longer. Furthermore, the planet is five percent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the sun.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kepler-452b has astronomers calling the planet "the closest twin to Earth" they have yet seen. The planet is the smallest world found orbiting in the habitable zone of a star. Kepler-452b orbits its star at approximately the same distance that Earth orbits the ... 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, First Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
1 About times and dates, brothers, there is no need ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2015 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... 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