I’ve been working on tomorrow’s tech/science story. It’s about the recently discovered comet that’s predicted to be brighter than the Moon. For those scoring at home it’s officially Comet C/2012 S1 ISON.
As is the case with so many comet and asteroid discoveries nowadays it was spotted by an automatic sky survey. That’s a telescope that checks back at the same points in the sky to see if anything’s moved! Star positions relative to each other are constant night-to-night. Planets, comets and asteroids move separately. One is easy to pick out from the other.
I worry about this ‘brighter than the Moon’ prediction. Comets so often disappoint! This one is still out beyond Jupiter. No one benefits when the public is fed a false alarm.
We know little about C/2012 S1 ISON other than it originated in the Oort Cloud, an area around a light year from the Sun filled with comets.
We think the Oort Cloud exists. We really don’t know. No one’s ever seen it!
C/2012 S1 ISON is forecast to be orders of magnitude brighter.
Some comets have become bright enough to be seen during daylight hours! It’s possible we’ll have that again.
Once you see a comet you never forget.