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 Comet ISON has Sprouted a Tail.

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OathKeepingJarhead
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PostSubject: Comet ISON has Sprouted a Tail.   Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:16 pm

As this thing gets closer the tail will begin to grow larger and it will begin to grow brighter. This may end up being a once in a lifetime comet for those who bear witness to it's flyby.

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Comet ISON, which is plunging toward the sun for a bright and fiery encounter in late 2013, has just sprouted a tail. It's not much--yet--but that is because the comet is still in deep space near the orbit of Jupiter. On. Feb. 3rd, amateur astronomer Rolando Ligustri photographed the development using a robotic telescope in New Mexico:



Comet ISON doesn't look very impressive now as it glides through the cold vacuum more than 600,000 km from Earth, but its appearance will improve later this year. On Nov. 28th, ISON is going to glide through the sun's atmosphere only 1.1 million km above the stellar surface. It could emerge from the encounter glowing as brightly as the full Moon, visible in broad daylight near the sun. If so, today's budding tail would likely grow into a garish appendage that wows observers in both hemispheres--no telescope required. Stay tuned for updates.

Update: NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has also observed Comet ISON's sprouting tail.

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