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“Once in a Civilization” Comet to Zip past Earth Next Year

Discussion in 'Science, Math, History and Language Studies' started by mr. sin, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. mr. sin

    mr. sin Registered User

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    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com...vilization-comet-to-zip-past-earth-next-year/


    As it flares out of the distant Oort Cloud, the newly discovered comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) appears to be heading on a trajectory that could make for one of the most spectacular night-sky events in living memory. Why is this comet expected to be so unique? Two reasons:
    Astronomers predict that the comet will pass just 1.16 million miles from the Sun as it swings around its perihelion, or closest approach. (This may seem like a lot, but remember—the Sun is big. If we were to scale the Sun down to the size of Earth, the comet would pass well within the orbits of dozens of satellites.) The close approach will melt enormous amounts of the comet’s ice, releasing dust and gas and forming what should be a magnificent tail.
    After it loops around the Sun and forms this tail, the comet should then pass relatively close to Earth—not near enough to cause any worry, but close enough to put on a great show. Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere will get the best view as the comet blooms in the weeks approaching Christmas 2013. The comet could grow as bright as the full moon.
    Of course, comets have a habit of not living up to expectations. This one could be sucked into the Sun during its close approach, or not grow as much of a tail as astronomers hope.
    But that hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for what Astronomy Now is awkwardly calling “a once-in-a-civilisation’s-lifetime” event. The comet expert John E. Bortle is already comparing ISON with the Great Comet of 1680, which, according to contemporary accounts, caused the people of New York’s Manhattan Island to be “overcome with terror at a sight in the heavens such as has seldom greeted human eyes…. In the province of New York a day of fasting and humiliation was appointed, in order that the wrath of God might be assuaged.”
    We can only hope for such a show.
     
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  2. Hudson

    Hudson Supreme Champion!!!!!
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  3. OilyJillFart

    OilyJillFart Well-Lubed Member

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    Ooh, comet for christmas next year. I wonder if the other reindeer will show up too..

    (boo..?)
     
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  4. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Go back to your shanties.

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  5. fletcher

    fletcher Darkness always says hello.
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    Please see yourself out.
     
  6. mills

    mills I'll give em a state, a state of unconsciousness

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    Get Don on that asap.
     
  7. MayrMeninoCrash

    MayrMeninoCrash Liberal Psycopath

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    What are the odds that the Earth's orbit will take us into the comet's path? We can only hope, right?
     
  8. TreeFortRichard

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    well if it pays off it will probably be obscured by a freak Nor'easter here in Ma. That's what always happens...but it seems awesome.
     
  9. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    Inb4 Neon blows his load.
     
  10. Neon

    Neon ネオン
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    :D


    Cool shit. Any time you can look up at the sky and see something that isn't normally there is a good time. Unless that something is coming right for you. That would kinda suck.
     
  11. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    You mean like a Palestinian rocket?
     
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  12. LiddyRules

    LiddyRules I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy

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  13. Buster H

    Buster H Alt-F4
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    chances are, it will e visible for a few weeks. That would be one heck of a nor'easter
     
  14. Guilty Spark

    Guilty Spark It's freeing and refreshing

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    I think they're calling it "Silver Surfer". Be ready to hear that non stop come 2013.
     
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  15. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    Seriously nothing?

    I mean I know it's me but come on, that's a hilarious response.
     
  16. Neon

    Neon ネオン
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    WTF? I distinctly remember responding with a LOL to that. In any case it did make me laugh.
     
  17. Nothing Sound

    Nothing Sound Riding the Biggest Wave

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    I have been hoping for something like that most of my adult life.
     
  18. Buster H

    Buster H Alt-F4
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    Did a little more reading on this. Apparently, it will be at its brightest after it passes the sun and is on its way out. Might end up being a dud if it gets sucked into the sun. :(
     
  19. Neon

    Neon ネオン
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    Yeah, no sun - no tail.
     
  20. Buster H

    Buster H Alt-F4
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    Yeah, but no comet, no tail.


    Once it gets into the solar system, the tail will start growing. The brightness factor after it passes the sun has more to do with it's proximity to earth.
     
  21. Jacuzzi Billy

    Jacuzzi Billy Watching PTI
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    Fuck Jupiter and the Moon for taking hits that should have been ours.
     
  22. Mommadeez4u

    Mommadeez4u Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling

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