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Newly-discovered comet `may outshine moon`

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 13:41

London: Astronomers, including one of Indian origin, gave said that a newly-discovered comet could become one of the brightest lights in the sky - even outshining the Moon.

According to a report by national Geographic, Russian astronomers had recently spotted comet 2012 S1 (ISON) 90 million kilometres from the Earth.

It is currently a faint glow streaking between Saturn and Jupiter, but as the Sun’s gravity draws the comet closer, dust and ice will be blasted off, giving it a highly-reflective tail.

Depending on how big the tail gets, the three-kilometre wide comet may become more visible for a few months in late 2013 and early 2014.

“If it lives up to expectations, this comet may be one of the brightest in history,” Sky News quoted Raminder Singh Samra of the H R MacMillan Space Centre in Canada as saying.

The comet already seems to be following the path of the Great Comet of 1690, which was one of the most stunning ever seen from Earth.

It would also pass about 10 million kilometres from Mars, possibly providing NASA’s Curiosity rover with a spectacular view.


First Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 13:41

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