Comet ISON making its way toward the third rock - Tucson News Now

Comet ISON making its way toward the third rock

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For the first time since its discovery, Comet ISON has approached the inner solar system.  It is currently located just inside Jupiter's orbit and within six months should be at its closest location to the Earth.  ISON should be the brightest comet our generations could ever witness and could also be the brightest object in the night sky!

The latest position was taken back in mid April and was 386 million miles from the Sun.  Pretty far, but at its current speed would put it closest to the sun on November 28th, 2013 at 730,000 miles; thus why it would be so bright, due to its extremely close location to our sun.  ISON is estimated to be about three miles wide, at the nucleus, and has a dusty tail approximately 57,000 miles long!  Since ISON will pass so close to the sun, NASA predicts that by November the icy nucleus will be completely melted.

The comet was discovered back in September 2012 by two Russian astronomers (Artyom Novichonok and Vitali Nevski).  ISON will be closest to Earth on December 26th of this year.

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