Comet ISON Moving Closer to Sun for Thanksgiving

    November 24, 2013

Many are preparing to draw closer together on Thanksgiving, and that includes space interaction as well. Comet ISON, which has more popularly been referred to as the “comet of the century” is currently continuing on the pathway to approach the sun’s vicinity. The closest encounter will be on November 28th, which just happens to also be Thanksgiving. The comet is anticipated to scrape close to the sun, just barely missing an impact by 730,000 miles. That may seem far, but is relatively close by space standards. There are present debates raging over whether the comet will sustain the energy force inherent from such a close encounter.

Comet ISON even has an app, called Cometwatch, dedicated exclusively to potentially tracking the progress of the comet. Though the comet will draw closest on Thanksgiving day, stargazers may want to continue watching. Current estimations project that the comet will appear to be the most luminous in December. Comet ISON was discovered through the use of International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) by two relatively inexperienced Russian astronomers (Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok) in September of 2012. The comet is officially named C/2012 S1 (ISON).

According to Alan MacRobert, who is the senior editor for Sky & Telescope magazine, the comet may prove to be a glorious spectacular in the sky, or the event may be virtually almost unrecognizable. “We might witness a nice, long-tailed comet visible to the naked eye that will leave millions of people with fond memories for a lifetime. Or maybe it will be a small comet for sky hunters using binoculars and a good map of its position. Or it might yet break up and vanish,” he said.

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]