Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Brilliant comet will blaze overhead before departing the Solar System forever.

Astronomers have spotted Comet ISON spewing gas  and dust in new images Using a space telescope, astronomers estimate that ISON is already spewing millions of pounds of dust and gas every day. The comet is also on an ejection trajectory.

Comet ISON plunging towards the sun.

Comet ISON plunging towards the sun.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Comet ISON, close approach, great comet, viewing, visibility, magnitude, ejection trajectory


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reporting from nearby Pasadena, astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space telescope say they have observed Comet ISON spewing carbon dioxide gas and dust as it approaches the sun.

Astronomers estimate ISON is losing 2.2 million pounds of gas and 120 million pounds of dust per day.

ISON is beginning to thaw as it approaches the orbit of Mars. The comet will eventually pass less than a million miles from the surface of the Sun, a close approach that could conceivably destroy the comet.

Astronomers believe this is Comet ISON's first visit to the inner Solar System, given the trajectory the comet is on. Typically, comets will have less steep trajectories the more times they pass the sun.

Comet ISON originated in the Oort Cloud, a spherical halo comprised of billions of comets left over from the formation of the Solar System. Although the Oort Cloud itself isn't visible from Earth, the theoretical region, that extends from a tenth of a light year to a full light-year away from the Sun, is widely believed to exist.

First time visitors to the inner Solar System are uniquely valuable because they retain their pristine composition. As such a comet approaches the Sun it warms, melting vapor and shedding dust that accumulated at the time of its formation, billions of years ago. Studying what the comet gives off at this time can help scientists learn more about the formation of the early Solar System.

Comet ISON is now approaching the water-ice line that astronomers say is just beyond the orbit of Mars. Within that boundary, solar energy is intense enough to melt ice of different compositions, turning the frozen gasses that form the comet into vapor.

Water is by far the most abundant frozen gas, but methane, ammonia, and carbon dioxide are also prevalent. All of these are believed to be basic building blocks of the Solar System and played a role in the formation of the Solar System.

Comet ISON is expected to pass the orbit of Mars in August. After that, it will continue to warm until it rounds the sun. As it warms, the amount of dust and gas it gives off will increase, causing it to brighten.

If the comet survives its close approach to the sun, it should be visible to the naked eye in late November and early December. Some estimates suggest the comet could be so bright that it will shine at least as brightly as the full moon, for at least a few days.

By the New Year's Eve, the comet will be long-departed. Current estimates suggest that Comet ISON is on an ejection trajectory, meaning that given its mass and velocity, it will actually exit the Solar System, never to return.

If ISON survives its close approach to the Sun, we may be treated to one of the most spectacular astronomical sights of the century. Or, we may be in for an astronomical disappointment. For now it's all speculation, as astronomers watch and wait.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Technology

What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Forget the zombie apocalypse, the ROBOT APOCALYPSE is near! Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


You'll never believe what Amazon picked up for nearly $1 billion Watch

Image of Tech giant Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million, beating out several rival competitors including Google.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Defeating tech rivals Google and Yahoo, Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million in a move announced late on August 25 which is the largest deal in Amazon's 20-year history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The firm raised $20 ... continue reading


China bucks American tech giant Microsoft over fears of spying Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


Robots with an internet of their own! This is the way of the future Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


A confident Ballmer leaves Microsoft 'completely' to run the Clippers Watch

Image of Steve Ballmer has left all positions of authority at Microsoft, leaving behind the tech giant to run the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Ballmer paid a record $2 billion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight months after he ended his role as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft's board, a move that ends more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 58-year-old, who ... continue reading


Why did NASA turn the cameras off? Live feed from Space Station shows UFO, NASA cuts the feed Watch

Image of Is this evidence of a UFO? Or perhaps just venting gasses or debris from the ISS?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fans of the International Space Station got an eyeful recently when an alleged UFO appeared on NASA's live feed from the station. Curiously, the feed was interrupted as soon as the object appeared fueling rumors that NASA is engaged in a cover-up. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have you been hacked? New report says millions of personal information has been stolen Watch

Image of Russian hackers recently gathered customer individuals from more than 420,000 websites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russian hackers gathered information from over 420,000 websites, both smaller sites and "household name" sites, in an attempt to gather passwords to send out spam. LOS ANGLES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold Security, a Milwaukee-based firm, discovered the theft but ... continue reading


ROSETTA: After 10 long years - 'We're in orbit!' Watch

Image of Exciting new images, taken from just 80 miles away shows boulders, craters and steep cliffs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All things come to those who wait. "After 10 years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the sun five times, we are delighted to announce finally 'we are here,'" Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's Director General, said in a ... continue reading


Xiaomi overtakes Samsung as leading Smartphone maker Watch

Image of Xiaomi has evolved from a niche player in China to a major force in its home market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How do you pronounce Xiaomi? Think of "show me," and then pronounce the first syllable as if it was in "shower." While Xiaomi in English translates as "little rice," there's nothing little about this Chinese Smartphone manufacturer - Xiaomi has knocked South ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:27-32
27 'Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 27th, 2014 Image

St. Monica
August 27: St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter