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The comet of the century

Home - by - December 27, 2012 - 17:15 America/New_York - 9 Comments

Independent UK

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‘Brighter than a full moon’: The biggest star of 2013… could be the comet of the century

A comet discovered by two Russian astronomers will be visible from Earth next year. Get ready for a  once-in-a lifetime light show, says David Whitehouse

At the moment it is a faint object, visible only in sophisticated telescopes as a point of light moving slowly against the background stars. It doesn’t seem much – a frozen chunk of rock and ice – one of many moving in the depths of space. But this one is being tracked with eager anticipation by astronomers from around the world, and in a year everyone could know its name.

Comet Ison could draw millions out into the dark to witness what could be the brightest comet seen in many generations – brighter even than the full Moon.

It was found as a blur on an electronic image of the night sky taken through a telescope at the Kislovodsk Observatory in Russia as part of a project to survey the sky looking for comets and asteroids – chunks of rock and ice that litter space. Astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok were expecting to use the International Scientific Optical Network’s (Ison) 40cm telescope on the night of 20 September but clouds halted their plans.

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» 9 Comments

  1. Moe Tom

    December 27th, 2012

    Oh Oh, the end of the world is coming again. Repent you sinners!

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  2. thirdtwin

    December 27th, 2012

    comet ISON?? Are you kidding me? A freaking acronym for a name? That won’t last. NASA’s Muslim Outreach Mission will have it renamed Jihad or something by inauguration day.

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  3. 120 specifically-named firearms

    December 27th, 2012

    They should name it “No Hope” because only if a chunk of that fucker broke off and destroyed Washington D.C. would we have any hope of digging our way out of the mess those bastards in Washington have put us in.

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  4. Buck Ofama

    December 27th, 2012

    Brighter than Obama?!?! <—- sarcasm

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  5. FreeMan & Sarah Intend to Defend

    December 27th, 2012

    So the Mayans were a year off?

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  6. ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    December 27th, 2012

    I guess it’s time to break out my ‘Brighter than the sun, Comet Kohoutek’ sunglasses to watch this ‘once in a century’ event.

    ….yawn

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  7. Claudia

    December 27th, 2012

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ, I remember all the hype about comet Kohoutek … what a bust. I was so disappointed.

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  8. Menderman

    December 27th, 2012

    I hope it makes a very close pass. I went to the Point tonight to watch the sunset, and it was glorious! I watched the full moon rise in my side view mirror at the same time…next, I headed east up the beach for 8 miles towards home and watched the brilliant moon with Jupiter just above it!

    here is a vid I got captured in doing the same thing about 11 months ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jE6KCKizFg
    ..

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  9. grayjohn

    December 28th, 2012

    Why not call it Comet Y2K-12/21/12 in honor of previous disappointments?

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