There is a new and very bright comet out there. Which of course means that it is the end of the world as we know it… maybe. Maybe not. In any event, it should be bright! And we might need either Bruce Willis, or Robert Duval, or both!
New Comet Discovered—May Become “One of Brightest in History”
Next year comet 2012 S1 might outshine the moon.
for National Geographic News
Published September 27, 2012
If astronomers’ early predictions hold true, the holidays next year may hold a glowing gift for stargazers—a superbright comet, just discovered streaking near Saturn.
Even with powerful telescopes, comet 2012 S1 (ISON) is now just a faint glow in the constellation Cancer. But the ball of ice and rocks might become visible to the naked eye for a few months in late 2013 and early 2014—perhaps outshining the moon, astronomers say. [Huge bright comet. What could go wrong?]
The comet is already remarkably bright, given how far it is from the sun, astronomer Raminder Singh Samra said. What’s more, 2012 S1 seems to be following the path of the Great Comet of 1680, considered one of the most spectacular ever seen from Earth.
“If it lives up to expectations, this comet may be one of the brightest in history,” said Samra, of the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, Canada. [And then the running and screaming begins, and the doom and rapidly deployed space shuttles… no wait… we don’t have any. We don’t have any civilian shuttles.]
So what makes a comet a showstopper? A lot depends on how much gas and dust is blasted off [rather like the DNC…] the central core of ice and rocks. The bigger the resulting cloud and tail, the more reflective the body may be.
Because 2012 S1 appears to be fairly large—possibly approaching two miles (three kilometers) wide — [We are clearly doomed. Doomed.] and will fly very close to the sun, astronomers have calculated that the comet may shine brighter, though not bigger, than the full moon in the evening sky.
As the sun’s gravity pulls the comet closer, it should pass about 6.2 million miles (10 million kilometers) from Mars—possibly a unique photo opportunity for NASA’s new Curiosity rover. [That’s pretty cool.]
Current orbital predictions indicate the comet will look brightest to us in the weeks just after its closest approach to the sun, on November 28, 2013—if 2012 S1 survives the experience.
Since this is Friday, and since we know we are all going to die, this is a great opportunity to remind you to buy some Mystic Monk Coffee (HERE), send me a donation – because the comet is coming and you won’t need it – and then to …
GO TO CONFESSION.
Some of you may have a lot of sins weighing you down.
Most parishes have some opportunities for confession on Saturdays.
Seriously, we don’t know the day or the hour. Use the Sacrament of Penance well. This is how the Lord Himself wanted us to return to a proper relationship with Himself and Holy Church and our neighbor, both near and far.