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“Comets, they’re like cats, they’ve got tails and they’re unpredictable”. I don’t know who originally said this but I’ve never forgotten it.
Comet ISON (official name C/2012 S1) has the potential to be the more exciting comet of 2013 and may even produce a meteor shower on 16th January 2014 as the Earth passes through the coma of comet debris.
Comet ISON is a special comet not only for astronomers but also cosmochemists like me. This is because it is a dynamically new comet meaning that it has come from the Oort cloud and is entering the inner Solar System for the first time.
The ISON meteor shower, if it happens, will be a particularly special one and I really hope that NASA can get some aircraft up with dust collectors on to collect some Comet ISON dust.
At the moment the most interesting aspect of this new object to me are the orbital elements' distinct and surprising similarity to those of the Great Comet of 1680.
Let me point out that it would seem to me to be a virtual impossibility for this to be just pure coincidence. Let me explain further.
Purely as speculation, perhaps the two bodies could have been one a few revolutions ago.
Even so, astronomers say there are reasons to be optimistic. In fact, ISON appears to be on a trajectory eerily similar to that of the Great Comet of 1680. It's even possible that ISON and the Great Comet are fragments of the same parent body.
Originally posted by FireballStorm
Pretty much a carbon copy of my thread, minus the videos, and the information that meteoroids could encounter Earth from both sides. I posted about the meteor shower here and the possible similarities with the great comet of 1680 here.
Regarding the shower, if these predictions are correct it sounds like it probably won't be a visual shower, although the occasional meteor might be bright enough to see under very dark skies.edit on 19-4-2013 by FireballStorm because: formatting