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View Diary: First of two comets this year to make Northern hemisphere appearance tonight (31 comments)

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  •  It does depend (7+ / 0-)

    Comet ISON is going to make a very close approach to our Sun.  

    If it breaks up, it won't be that spectacular.  Passing about 800,000 miles from the Sun, break up is a real danger.

    If we're wrong and ISON has been here before, it won't be as spectacular as it would be if the thing is on its first pass.

    If it's low on volatiles and more rocky than expected, it won't be that spectacular.

    Comets are iffy things, and often vary in brightness over the course of a few hours if a large pocket of ice and gas is exposed and is ejected suddenly.

    If it survives its solar pass, is on its first pass, and is high in volatiles this could be the best comet in 400 years and could be visible by daylight.

    That's a lot of "ifs" and "ands."  We may get a better idea of the show it may provide as it gets closer to the Sun.

    (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 12:59:21 PM PST

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