Multiple Comets in 2013

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By Stephen Gode on February 25, 2013, 1:45am Last modified: February 26, 2013, 11:48am

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The NASA video (above) explains about the Comet PanSTARRS, a recently discovered comet that originated from the Oort Cloud. The Oort Cloud is the source of some of the finest comets. Comet PanSTARRS will make a close approach with the sun. The comet's orbit will just be inside the orbit of Mercury, which could significantly boost its visibility in early March. The comet is already visible in the southern hemisphere and it should also be visible in the northern hemisphere by March, too. Please, check out this site by Seiichi Yoshida for comet viewing charts in the northern and southern hemisphere. 

Please, check out this great video from by Alex Cherney of Flinders, Victoria, Australia. You will notice objects visible to the naked-eye in the video. They are as follows: Comet Lemmon, Comet PanSTARRS, the Small Magellanic Cloud, and the 47 Tucanae globular star cluster. The southern lights are captured in the video, too.  The Small Magellanic Cloud is the smaller of the two Magellanic Clouds visible from the southern hemisphere. Both Magellanic Clouds are small galaxies orbiting the Milky Way and are visible near the south celestial pole.  The 47 Tucanae globular star cluster is a jewel of the southern sky. The dense cluster is made up of several million stars in a volume only about 120 light-years across.

Another comet that will have a close approach with the sun is Comet ISON. The comet will enter the sun's atmosphere and pass a little over a million kilometers of the stellar surface by November 28, 2013. If it survives, some reporters think it could be the 'comet of the century' and can be briefly visible as bright as the moon near the sun in broad daylight. Past comets have been known to be unpredictable, in terms of what kind of show to expect. This much anticipated event would be by this November and into December, if it survives, to create a worldwide sensation. The second NASA video (below) talks about the Comet ISON more in-depth and possible scenarios for the comet.

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Stephen Gode

Town: North Haven, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since September 2012.

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