AND…just in case you’ve been obsessing about the Comet ISON(International Scientific Optical Network—used by some Russian astronomers to first locate this fast-moving wonder) the one thing that most astronomers actually agree on is that it is highly unlikely to slam into the Earth, smashing us all to smithereens…that and the fact that nobody around right now is likely to ever see it again, because it’s heading back out to the Oort Cloud from which it came, out on the fringes of the solar system. It may or may not survive its perilously close elliptical path around the Sun; it may well be moving at a mind-boggling speed of 828,000 miles per hour.
Comet ISON, known to its friends as C/2012 S1 (The C means that it’s not expected to ever return here)may be spotted, with binoculars mostly, in the southeastern sky about half an hour before sunrise. November 28, Thanksgiving Day, should be the moment of truth, so to speak, as it passes within 730,000 mi. (pretty cozy on a solar scale) of the Sun. It will probably either whizz around in a sort of “slingshot” effect and give us watchers a celestial light show that we haven’t seen in some centuries or it will be sucked in by the sun’s gravitational power and simply cease to exist.
Then again, we can watch comets all we want but we can’t really predict how they’re going to behave. Remember Comet Kohutek? Anyway, after scarfing down the turkey and stuffing, bestir yourself to go outside and catch the show put on by the Best Comet Ever…maybe
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