Comet ISON Befuddles the Experts

Of Particular Significance

Take a ball of loosely aggregated rock and ice, the nucleus of a comet, fresh from the distant reaches of the solar system.  Throw it past the sun, really fast, but so close that the sun takes up a large fraction of the sky.  What’s going to happen?  The answer: nobody knows for sure.  Yesterday we actually got to see this experiment carried out by nature.  And what happened?  After all the photographs and other data, nobody knows for sure.  Comet ISON dimmed sharply and virtually disappeared, then, in part, reappeared [see the SOHO satellite’s latest photo below, showing a medium-bright comet-like smudge receding from the sun, which is blacked out to protect the camera.]  What is its future, and how bright will it be in the sky when it starts to be potentially visible at dawn in a day or two?  Nobody knows for…

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2 thoughts on “Comet ISON Befuddles the Experts

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