I am likely behind the curve, and true sky-watchers likely already know this, but while researching Comet PanSTARR, (or is it Comet L4 PANSTARRS, I’ve seen both names,) I kept running into excited conversations about a very bright comet which might become visible next fall.  Some suggest that this one, rather than looking like a distant bit of lint in the sky, could be brighter than the moon. 

This comet, called “Comet ISON,”  will very nearly hit the sun, passing so close that the sun’s gravity will whip it around in a hairpin turn before flinging it back out into the depths of space.  Comets that pass so close to the sun are subjected to intense heat, and lots of their ice vaporizes, and they grow very long tails.  Sometimes they break up into several different chunks, and become a bunch of comets close together.

In any case, it will be something to look forwards to seeing in the twilight, as next autumn’s days grow short, and Decembers early twilight’s are upon us.

Here is an interesting post about this years comets:


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