Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Russian astronomers have discovered brightest comet in 10 years

Russian amateur astronomer Artyom Novichonok and his matching part from Belarus Vitally Nevsky discovered comet, which may be the brightest in this decade, reports RIA "Novosti" with reference to the official report the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union.

New comet was discovered on September 21 in the course of observations at the observatory in Kislovodsk, a member of the international network of observatories ISON. Cemetery nature of the object was later confirmed by several observatories, in particular, Maidanak Observatory in Uzbekistan, the Mount Lemmon Observatory in the U.S. survey Pan-STARRS. New comet was assigned index C/2012 S1 (ISON).

According to calculations, the comet in November 2013 will be held at a distance of 0.012 astronomical units (mean radius of the Earth's orbit) from the Sun, and then, on 26 December 2013 - to 0.42 AU from Earth.

"If the comet is destroyed on the approach, as it has been with the comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin), we are waiting for, perhaps, the brightest comet decade, which would eclipse the comet C/2011 L1 (Pan-STARRS)», - noted website reported observatory ISON-NM.

Currently the comet is still beyond the orbit of Jupiter and is about 18 gloss magnitude.

As it turns out, earlier this comet has been observed: December 28, 2011 and January 28, 2012 she was seen Observatory Mount Lemmon and Pan-STARRS. With this new comet orbit was computed with greater accuracy.

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