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Astronomy News

Jan 2013 - Two comets to get excited about. One is Comet PANSTARRS, which will be brightest in March 2013. The other is Comet ISON, which might become a daylight comet in late 2013. Although a cometís movement in our sky can be predicted, its brightness cannot be. Itís too early to know whether Comet PANSTARRS or Comet ISON Ė the two exciting comets of 2013 Ė will dazzle or fizzle.

Comet PANSTARRS
By October 2012, its surrounding coma was seen to be large and fine at an estimated 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) wide. In March 2013, by some estimates, this comet should get as bright as Venus,

Comet ISON
Last year, Russian astronomers Vitaly Nevsky and Artyom Novichonok discovered a new gigantic comet that is currently approaching Earth. The ISON comet, which is expected to become brighter than the full moon, will be visible to the naked eye by late 2013.

Comet ISON has only been visible through powerful telescopes. In November 2013, heat from the sun will vaporize ices in the comet's body, creating what could be a spectacular tail that will be visible in Earth's night sky without telescopes or even binoculars from about October 2013 through January 2014.

Comet ISON will come within 800,000 miles (1.2 million km) of our sunís surface on November 28. Thatís over 100 times closer to the sun than Earth. This close pass to the sun might cause Comet ISON to break to pieces. January 2014 may see a meteor shower produced by streams of debris from the ISON comet.

ScienceDaily: Astronomy News

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