FIJI NEWS
November 17, 2013 02:35:20 PM
  Follow @ Twitter

A comet which could become the brightest for a century is racing into our solar system will pass just 621,000 miles from the sun's surface on November 28.

The comet ISON will pass exceptionally close to the sun in just under a fortnight, creating a cosmic spectacle as ice in its body vapourises and forms a distinct bright tail, reports the Daily Mail.

It will be more than 100 times closer to the sun than the Hale-Bopp comet, one of the brightest of the last century which was visible with the naked eye for a record 18 months in 1997.

As it blasts towards the sun, the intense gravitational pull will make it speed up to 234 miles per second.

The sun's rays will also heat the ball of ice, metal and rock to 2,760 degrees Celsius, making it much brighter than most comets - with some scientists claiming it could outshine the moon.

Comets are believed to be frozen remains left over from the formation of the solar system four and a half billion years ago.

ISON, which has never visited our solar system before, has emerged from the Oort Cloud, a reservoir of icy bodies beyond Neptune's orbit.

These balls of ice are occasionally 'bumped' by the sun's gravity out of the cloud and into a flight path that brings them into the inner solar system.

The vast majority of comets are invisible to the naked eye, but the most famous is Halley's Comet.

That is because it is the only comet which visits often enough and shines brightly enough to be seen by most people in their lifetime.

The ISON comet was discovered in September last year by two amateur astronomers using Russia's International Scientific Optical Network, ISON, who marvelled at how bright it was even beyond Jupiter's orbit.

It comes to our solar system between every 75 and 76 years and last visited in 1986. Among other things, it inspired the name of 1950s rock and roll outfit Bill Haley and His Comets.

FijiLive

Wiggle


PREVIOUS STORY
Emerging exporter eyes further development
NEXT STORY
Man, 55, dies in home fire

Post a Comment
Bookmark and Share

 


Posted Comments
No comments, but you can post the first comment!
   





Do you think the government is doing enough to educate voters about the new voting system for the 2014 general election?
 Yes
 No


Poll Results: Current | Previous

Do you think the government is doing enough to educate voters about the new voting system for the 2014 general election?
Yes
 55%
No
 45%



More Polls
Press Esc to close this window
BUSINESS
Shortland St to film in Fiji next weekNew Zealandís long running medical television drama, Shortland Street will be filming in Fiji next week for an upcoming storyline.
SPORTS
AOG stuns MaristAssembliesí of God High School (AOG) defeated Marist Brothers High School by seven wickets in one of the biggest upset of the Suva Secondary Schools' Cricket competition to progress to the Under-18 boysí final.
WORLD
'Green'-tinted SUVs at Seoul Motor ShowGas-guzzling SUVs, eco-friendly electric cars and the odd brave attempt to marry the selling points of both are taking centre stage at the biennial Seoul Motor Show.
TECHNOLOGY
Only call details given to police in 670 cases: VFVodafone Fiji says it provided call details in 670 cases to police on the production of a search warrant or court order, but does not listen to or record calls, and could not provide such information.
ENTERTAINMENT
Shortland St to film in Fiji next weekNew Zealandís long running medical television drama, Shortland Street will be filming in Fiji next week for an upcoming storyline.
HEALTH/FITNESS
Clean-up day to curb dengue outbreakFiji's Ministry of Health has declared a clean-up day next Thursday for residents in the central division as it ups the tempo against a dengue fever outbreak currently experienced in the country.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS