Scientists say ISON, so called ‘Comet of the Century’ may fizzle

July 31, 2013 SPACEAstronomers slated to meet this week to discuss observing plans for Comet Ison may not have much to talk about. The so-called “Comet of the Century” may already have fizzled out. “The future of comet Ison does not look bright,” astronomer Ignacio Ferrin, with the University of Antioquia in Colombia, said in a statement. Ferrin’s calculations show the comet, which is currently moving toward the Sun at 26 km per second, has not brightened since mid-January. That may be because the comet is already out of ice particles in its body, which melt as the comet moves closer to the Sun, creating a long, bright tail. Another theory is that the comet is covered in a layer of silicate dust that snuffs out water vapor and other gases that brighten the comet. “Comet ISON has been on a standstill for more than 132 days… a rather puzzling feat,” Ferrin wrote in a paper submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and posted online at the archival site arXiv.org. The comet, named Ison for the International Scientific Optical Network that made its discovery, was found in September 2012 by two amateur Russian astronomers.  It is due to pass about 1.2 million km from the Sun on November 28. The relatively close pass was expected to create a massive tail that some scientists predict will be visible even in daylight.  If it survives, that is. At that distance, the comet would reach temperatures of about 2700 degrees Celsius – hot enough to melt lead. It may also be pulled apart by the Sun’s gravity. Scientists believe the comet hails from the Oort Cloud, a cluster of icy rocks that circle the Sun about 50,000 times farther away than Earth’s orbit. Calculations show Comet Ison is making its first – and possibly last – voyage into the inner solar system. -Stuff
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7 Responses to Scientists say ISON, so called ‘Comet of the Century’ may fizzle

  1. Gabriel says:

    Hmmm, maybe ISON is not a typical comet. Maybe it isn’t made of that much ice? Hmmmm. Where did comets come from? Maybe the explosion of a watery planet or something, where did all that interior material go? You know, all those hard metals and stuff. Maybe ISON is made of pure rock?

    I find it amazing that we can capture amazing detailed picures deep in space but we cannot capture a decent picture of a comet in the Solar system. Call me crazy, but it sure seems that somebody should have a good picture of this thing by now.

  2. Irene C says:

    That’s too bad. I was really looking forward to seeing Ison.

  3. Wiseguy says:

    Electric Universe… How an object in space vacuum can feel heat, there’s nothing, no atmosphere to reflect heat molecules. The only matter traveling trought space is electromagnetic waves coming from the sun or the universe !!! I’m tired of that BS saying that comets are made of ice and dust, just like an ice cube melting on our atmosphere… This is so childish… Anything can be very close from the sun and won’t feel the heat, IT’S VACUUM… EMPTY !!! Explain please !!!

  4. Rik says:

    Maybe it’s not a comet after all… I guess we’ll find out towards the end of the year.

  5. Joanne Baskett says:

    I’ve heard that the Ison ‘fizzle’ report/story isn’t true it’s a hoax and that Ison’s passage is still potentially a hazardous time!

  6. kennycjr says:

    ISON’s first trip to the inner solar system? isn’t this the one that they said the last time it circuited around was the time of abraham? myself, i wonder if maybe it wasn’t the time of joshua instead, and if it was the source of the day being extended because it had such an immense flare.

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