COMET ISON TO VISIT MARS TOMORROW ON ITS WAY TO THE SUN!
Links & resources below!
Tomorrow, October 1, 2013 the as the long awaited comet C/2012 S1 ISON races toward the Sun it first will pay a visit to the Red Planet: Mars. The fly-by will be only 0.07AU from Mars which is six times close than it will come to the Earth.
NASA and the world’s astronomers aren’t blowing this opportunity as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and its half meter telescope HiRISE as well as Mars Science Lab (MSL) Curiosity will be ready and waiting for the appearance though they’re unsure as to the quality of the images that will come from it.
There’s also a bit of great timing as well as ISON has just crossed the “Frost Line” as it’s called. It’s a location just past the orbit of Mars where objects are now close enough to where heating from the sun is enough to vaporize frozen water which means possible eruptions and geysers exploding off the comet at any time. Observations made will give clues as to how large the comets nucleus is. If the nucleus is larger than 0.3 miles (0.5 km.) in diameter it’s believed it will likely survive its encounter with the Sun on Thanksgiving Day.
In all, NASA will have 16 spacecraft observing the comet as it enters into and leaves the inner solar system. This will be a great warm up for the extremely close fly-by of C/2013 A1 Sliding Spring which will just miss impacting Mars on October 14, 2014.
Finally, I have to address the landslide of complete idiots who, for whatever reason have the desire to call any object in space a doomsday object or aliens……YES they are idiots and NO their views and opinions do not deserve respect or even a second thought. Every time something interesting happens in the cosmos the morons who know nothing of what they’re talking about start some new craze and in the end, they all end up looking completely stupid. This time the end result will be no different, and to those of you that believe in and or push this nonsense; I hope you feel a bit foolish after, though if you haven’t learned from EVERY previous perpetuated act of ignorance I doubt you will this time.
Where is ISON NOW?: http://theskylive.com/ison-tracker
NASA Science ISON/Mars fly-by: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/23aug_marsison/
SKY & TELESCOPE ISON/Mars fly-by: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Comet-ISON-to-Fly-By-Mars-225022822.html
How NASA will observe ISON: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?Category=Planets&IM_ID=17405
Universe Today guide through the end of November: http://www.universetoday.com/104818/comet-ison-a-viewing-guide-from-now-to-perihelion/
EARTHSKY ISON information page: http://earthsky.org/space/big-sun-diving-comet-ison-might-be-spectacular-in-2013
Comet ISON Observing Campaign: http://www.isoncampaign.org/