Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Comet ISON Approaching the Sun

Comet ISON Approaching the Sun


Bright point of light and glowing tail streaking across black sky (NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team)

The comet ISON is approaching the sun from the farthest edge of the solar system, with its closest pass predicted for November 28. Planetary scientists and astrophysicists have known this blob of dust and ice has been traveling toward the sun for more than a year. They also know that ISON has been on its way to an encounter with the sun for a few billion years.

As ISON makes a pass around the sun, scientists will observe its course to see how it behaves. If the comet disintegrates in the sun’s heat and gravity, it will emit dust and gases that will leave identifiable chemical signatures. Material from comets provides building blocks for planets, and Comet ISON should advance scientific understanding of the earliest years of the solar system.

ISON is “a dinosaur bone” from the birth of the solar system, said Carey Lisse at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. If it is not burned up or broken apart by the powerful heat and radiation of the sun, ISON may become visible again from Earth the first or second week of December, Lisse said. Would-be observers should be on the lookout just after sunset or just before dawn where the sun meets the horizon.

Space-based observation platforms have been trained on ISON since first detection of its sun-bound course in 2012. As it continues its closest pass-by, scientists have the opportunity to accumulate the greatest body of observations ever collected on a single comet.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Insurers Up For More Payouts: Chch Property Investor Wins Policy Appeal In Supreme Court

Ridgecrest NZ, a property investor, has won an appeal in the Supreme Court over insurance cover provided by IAG New Zealand for a Christchurch building damaged in four successive earthquakes. More>>

ALSO:

Other Cases:

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news