“A rare supercomet is rushing towards the Sun from the outer solar system and at its peak it may outshine the Moon in November 2013, astronomers claim.
First spotted in September this year, the comet is known as C/2012 S1 (ISON), New Scientist reported.”
The most exciting aspect of this new comet concerns its preliminary orbit, which bears a striking resemblance to that of the “Great Comet of 1680.” That comet put on a dazzling show; it was glimpsed in daylight and later, as it moved away from the sun, it threw off a brilliantly long tail that stretched up from the western twilight sky after sunset like a narrow searchlight beam for some 70 degrees of arc. (A person’s clenched fist, held at arm’s length, covers roughly 10 degrees of sky.)
The fact that the orbits are so similar seems to suggest Comet ISON and the Great Comet of 1680 could related or perhaps even the same object.
a trajectory that could make for one of the most spectacular night-sky events in living memory.
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