a newly discovered comet headed right toward earth!!!!*
As astronomy goes, I can take or leave solar flares, black holes or super novas. Comets are where it's at.
Since I was in 4th grade and hearing about Halley's comet, I was excited for the arrival of 1986 and the return that big ball of ice hurtling towards the sun where it would burn and illuminate as it passed by.
...alas, I'm not so sure I remember 1986 or ever seeing the comet. I'm also pretty sure I won't see it in 2061. Actually, I'm very sure of it.
But I was a big fan of the Hale-Bopp comet. Not enough to get a pair of Nike's, a purple blanket and some vodka. Still, each and every night, I would stand outside and just watch the nighttime sky. For hours. ...and it was cold out!
Night after night it would just seemingly hang in the sky, even though I knew it was moving at enormous rates of speed, it was just like suspended animation. I never got tired of just staring. But Hale-Bopp is gone....so now I have to wait until November 2013 for 2012 S1.
It is possible 2012 S1 will get too close to the sun and flame out. But if it doesn't.....it could be the brightest comet ever to be seen from this little blue marble, possibly even visible during the day and brighter than a full moon.
Seriously, how cool is that? Or hot.
Just remind me in a year, so I don't miss it.
*37,282.715 miles from earth, actually.
Song by: the Shins
I was able to see one meteor shower but all the other events were either not visible from where I was at the time or the weather was bad. When you live in major cities or their suburbs, light noise really obscures the night sky.
My big thrill was seeing the Space Shuttle fly over NY it's first (and only I think) night flight. It took off at 7 pm from FL and was streaking over NY 5 mins later! AMAZING!
I was an astronomy nerd as a kid. I had a telescope and everything. I remember spending hours just looking up at the sky and wondering what was out there that we couldn't see.
We'd go see the Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral from time to time, but we could usually see them from the house as well.
I hope 2012 S1 doesn't burn out before we get to see it, because I'm sure the doomsdayers will have a heyday with it. And to me, that's just as much fun now that I'm older and jaded.
Better keep it away from your black hole.
I love astronomy, and comets are still wonderful harbingers of something cool.
Thanks for the head's up - 13 months to go!
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