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Thread: Comets PANSTARRS & ISON

  1. #1 Comets PANSTARRS & ISON 
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    Two comets are coming in 2013. I have decreed that the 90s revival will begin on March 4, so these comets will recall Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997.

    Comet PANSTARRS will peak in March. PANSTARRS is an acronym for Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System. This is an array of telescopes and cameras in Hawaii, where the comet was discovered.

    PANSTARRS C/2011 L4 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Comet ISON will peak in November. ISON is an acronym for International Scientific Optical Network. The comet was discovered by two Russian astronomers, Nevsky and Novichonok.

    ISON C/2012 S1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    ISON is expected to be very bright. I recall how Kohoutek fizzled 40 years earlier in 1973, so I will believe what I see.

    Astronomy has made a big deal out of comets in recent years. Theorists have gone as far as suggesting that comets brought water to earth, that they are responsible for our oceans. Furthermore, they maintain that comets may have provided the organic molecules that started life on earth. It sound ridiculous, but more and more theories are cosmic rather than earth-centered. Some propose that the early sun stripped the inner planets of all their ice and gas. The outer planet retained their ice and gas. So did Pluto and objects in the Kuiper Belt as well as the comets comprising the Oort cloud. But it seems there would have to be trillions of trillions of trillions of comets impacting the earth to create the oceans.

    Makemake is a dwarf planet like Pluto and a Kuiper Belt Object KBO. I love that name, don't you? Makemake! Makemake was discovered at Palomar Observatory in 2005 by a team of astronomers led by Michael Brown. Its surface is covered with methane and ethane ices.

    Makemake is the only KBO bright enough to have been detected by Clyde Tombaugh, Pluto's discoverer.


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    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    According to the JPL Horizons web interface (HORIZONS Web-Interface), C/2011 L4 will peak around 11/12 March with a total visual magnitude of -0.3, but the magnitude of the nucleus will only be 7.8. Note that the total magnitude is affected by the surface brightness of the coma. It might not be as easy to observe as hoped, because it is always close to the sun.

    For C/2012 S1, the JPL Horizons tool currently predicts a total magnitude of -11.5 for 29 November, with a magnitude of the nucleus of 5.5. However, it will pass the ecliptic at an even closer projected distance from the sun. So, twilight observations, when the ambient illumination is more favourable, will not be possible at the peak brightness.


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