Forget Iron Man 3 or the new season of Game of Thrones, the most exciting event to happen in 2013 won’t be on any type of screen but in the binocular-free night sky.
NASA’s Near Earth Object Program astronomer Donald Yeomans reported to Reuters that Comet ISON will fly within 1.2 million miles from the center of the sun on November 28, 2013. As a result, the sun will vaporize some of the ice that make up the comet which will create a pretty awesome tail that will be visible without telescopes, binoculars and hopefully really thick glasses if you’re as lazy as I am. Comet ISON’s tail could be as visible as our moon from October 2013 through January 2014.
Now, before you inform your cult leader, know that there is a possibility that Comet ISON could get a little too close to the sun, causing it to break apart altogether and not appear. So, similar to the release of World War Z, the best thing to do is cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Comet ISON is from an orbiting cluster of frozen rocks and ice called the Oort Cloud. (Don’t worry, I giggled at the name “Oort”, too.) It was discovered by two amateur astronomers with a telescope from the International Scientific Optical Network, hence the name, Comet ISON. (I guess that’s like naming your baby, “Hospital”…? I don’t know…)
Comet ISON could also be visible from Mars in September of 2013, so hopefully NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover may be able to get a sneak peak. Let’s just hope Curiosity won’t Tweet any major spoilers, am I right?