Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Comet ISON Could Spawn a Meteor Shower Tonight

Comet ISON could spawn a meteor shower tonight, that's the word from NASA, which has an entire
page on its website concerning a speculative “ISON-id” Meteor Shower. 

For the past year and a half, both astronomy enthusiasts and the general public went abuzz over Comet ISON thanks to a prediction by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that the comet could become as bright as the Full Moon. Unfortunately, Comet ISON didn't survive its close encounter with the Sun on Thanksgiving Day.

However, there may be one last hurrah from the comet.

As Comet ISON sped in towards Earth, scientists estimated that it shed about 100,000 pounds of debris per minute, leaving a massive trail of debris along its inbound path. The interesting thing to consider: Earth will pass through the Comet's inbound path tonight, reaching the deepest concentration of debris.

So, how likely is a meteor shower to happen? Short answer: no one knows. Still, you can't see anything if you don't go out and look. As for where to look, the shower (if it happens) will radiate from the constellation of Leo, specifically The Sickle.

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