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Week 39


Special Topic: Comet Tails

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SEPTEMBER 21, 2012: Two amateur astronomers, Vitali Nevski of Belarus and Artyom Novichonok of Russia, discover Comet ISON C/2012 S1 with a telescope of the International Scientific Optical Network located at Kislovodsk, Russia. Comet ISON was expected to become a brilliant object when near the sun and Earth in late 2013 but instead disintegrated as …

Perihelion: 1914 October 26.77, q = 1.104 AU  After the spectacular appearances of the Daylight Comet of 1910 and of Comet 1P/Halley later that same year – both of these objects having been discussed in previous “Ice and Stone 2020” presentations – the next few years brought some additional bright comets to Earth’s nighttime skies. …

Of all the phenomena associated with comets, the one that more than any other gives them their beauty and their mystique is their tails. As recounted in a previous “Special Topics” presentation, the first recorded scientific observation of a comet concerned its tail: when observing the bright comet that appeared during the second half of …