Correction: TWO Potentially Awesome Comets This Year

With all the excitement over Comet ISON coming through during Thanksgiving, many have overlooked a potentially sweet specter rolling through in less than two months' time: Comet PANSTAARS.

While it will not likely get as bright as ISON could become, anything magnitude 3 or better will be visible nearly everywhere, even the outskirts of major cities, and it may hit that level starting around March 15/16th. It should be barely visible, and brightening, soon after sunset in the West.

If you have considered buying a pair of binoculars or even a telescope, now is the perfect time to jump in time for PANSTAARs and the bigger show ISON. Most telescope companies are still doing post-holiday sales, and even a modest refractor will bring out some nice details of the coma and tail.

Posted by: CAC at 06:19 PM



Comments

1 I read that as Comet Pantstars.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 14, 2013 06:21 PM (UOM48)

2 Yet still no SMOD

Posted by: Andy at January 14, 2013 06:22 PM (5TFvk)

3 are either one of them scheduled to impact us?

If not why not?

Posted by: sven10077 at January 14, 2013 06:22 PM (LRFds)

4
I've got a comet to show you in my PANTS.

Posted by: Bent Billy C at January 14, 2013 06:22 PM (NFVkx)

5 Let me call in a buddy of mine...

Posted by: hannitys_hybrid at January 14, 2013 06:22 PM (zpqa2)

6 Apparently, that gall bladder was slowing you down CAC. You're moving today!

Posted by: Tami at January 14, 2013 06:23 PM (X6akg)

7 Should we start a kickstarte group to paint a big red X over D.C. to encourage the twin SMODs?

Posted by: The Political Hat at January 14, 2013 06:24 PM (XvHmy)

8 Fittingly, a comet thread obliterates all threads coming before it.

Posted by: hannitys_hybrid at January 14, 2013 06:24 PM (zpqa2)

9 This is hysterical. Keep it up CAC.

Posted by: BCochran1981 at January 14, 2013 06:24 PM (GEICT)

10 Yet still no SMOD
Posted by: Andy at January 14, 2013 06:22 PM (5TFvk)

SMOD is on my shit list

Posted by: Nevergiveup at January 14, 2013 06:28 PM (jE38p)

11 The geek in me wanted to take this opportunity to discuss what the numbers mean when talking telescope/binocular power (12x50, etc), but the moron in me overruled.

Posted by: Brian in New Orleans at January 14, 2013 06:29 PM (llljM)

12 "4
I've got a comet to show you in my PANTS.

Posted by: Bent Billy C at January 14, 2013 06:22 PM (NFVkx) "

Do we have to be in a special room?

Posted by: Mirror-Universe Mitt Romney at January 14, 2013 06:29 PM (nGO/U)

13 PANSTAAR is going to come and offer to buy Earth for a third of what it's worth.

They have to make a profit on this stuff you see, plus all that money to restore and frame it. A third, and not a dime more.

Posted by: Hollowpoint at January 14, 2013 06:30 PM (SY2Kh)

14 Thats what he said

Posted by: thunderb at January 14, 2013 06:30 PM (yHs2k)

15 "14 Thats what he said

Posted by: thunderb at January 14, 2013 06:30 PM (yHs2k)"

:-)

Posted by: Mirror-Universe Mitt Romney at January 14, 2013 06:31 PM (nGO/U)

16 This seems appropriate:

http://www.thecomicstrips.com/store/add_strip.php?iid=83999

Posted by: Waterhouse at January 14, 2013 06:31 PM (FDAl+)

17 Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., denies taking a bribe from a Utah businessman who claims the Senate Majority Leader was to use his influence to deflect federal regulators from investigating the Utahnís business.

Jeremy Johnson claims that he agreed to pay Reid $600,000 in 2010 to make a federal investigation go away. ďThe truth is the worst thing I think Iíve done was I paid money knowing it was going to influence Harry Reid,Ē Johnson told the Salt Lake Tribune. ďSo Iíve felt all along that Iíve committed bribery of some sort there.Ē


An investor friend told me this is all true.

Posted by: Al Gore's "lockbox" at January 14, 2013 06:32 PM (e8kgV)

18 "17 Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., denies taking a bribe from a Utah businessman who claims the Senate Majority Leader was to use his influence to deflect federal regulators from investigating the Utahnís business.

Jeremy Johnson claims that he agreed to pay Reid $600,000 in 2010 to make a federal investigation go away. ďThe truth is the worst thing I think Iíve done was I paid money knowing it was going to influence Harry Reid,Ē Johnson told the Salt Lake Tribune. ďSo Iíve felt all along that Iíve committed bribery of some sort there.Ē


An investor friend told me this is all true.

Posted by: Al Gore's "lockbox" at January 14, 2013 06:32 PM (e8kgV) "

Well, it's probably true. He probably didn't take "A bribe."

Posted by: Mirror-Universe Mitt Romney at January 14, 2013 06:34 PM (nGO/U)

19 I'll show you some tail.

Hey--is that President Clinton?

Posted by: comet panststars at January 14, 2013 06:35 PM (ORGYc)

20 ace got ya again, CAC.

Posted by: Tami at January 14, 2013 06:35 PM (X6akg)

21 Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., denies taking a bribe from a Utah businessman who claims the Senate Majority Leader was to use his influence to deflect federal regulators from investigating the Utahnís business.

Jeremy Johnson claims that he agreed to pay Reid $600,000 in 2010 to make a federal investigation go away. ďThe truth is the worst thing I think Iíve done was I paid money knowing it was going to influence Harry Reid,Ē Johnson told the Salt Lake Tribune. ďSo Iíve felt all along that Iíve committed bribery of some sort there.Ē


An investor friend told me this is all true.
Posted by: Al Gore's "lockbox" at January 14, 2013 06:32 PM (e8kgV)

Reid is lying bastard

Posted by: Ace Rothstein at January 14, 2013 06:35 PM (jE38p)

22
The geek in me wanted to take this opportunity to discuss what the
numbers mean when talking telescope/binocular power (12x50, etc), but
the moron in me overruled.



We even had a scheduled chess thread for a bit.


Feel free to get your nerd on.

Posted by: fluffy at January 14, 2013 06:36 PM (z9HTb)

23 A Few Good Men is on AMC tonight at 8 and I can watch Cruise save the world from aliens

Posted by: Nevergiveup at January 14, 2013 06:37 PM (jE38p)

24
well if it is as good as hale bopp than thats going to be pretty good.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at January 14, 2013 06:37 PM (p/cQy)

25 Knicks owner James Dolan had two MSG Network employees record every word spoken or said to Carmelo Anthony during the Knicksí Friday night loss to the Bulls, according to an NJ.com report.

The report comes just days after the Knicks star had been in an altercation with Kevin Garnett after the Celtics veteran allegedly said Anthonyís wife La La ďtasted like Honey Nut Cheerios.Ē Black Sports Online has been the only one to confirm the actual trash and no one has come forward to confirm it. The players involved, La La and Celtics coach Doc Rivers have all denied that the cereal was the source of the insult.

But it remains unclear whether or not Garnettís taunting was the motive behind Dolanís spy-like move. The website did not have the reason for Dolan resorting to such tactics, and itís unknown whether or not Anthony was aware such actions were being taken.

Dolan had two audio technicians set up diagonally across from each other, including one behind the Knicks bench, holding high-tech microphones to pick up what Anthony said and what was said to him during the entire game, which the Knicks lost. Dolan reportedly ordered the technicians to send the tape of the audio feed to him

Dolan is one sick owner

Posted by: Nevergiveup at January 14, 2013 06:39 PM (jE38p)

26 22 - The first number is the magnification while the second number is the objective lens size (the amount of light allowed in). I.E. a 12x50 has a power of 12 magnification with a 50mm opening.

I was 35 before learning that and I'd always wanted to know!

Posted by: Brian in New Orleans at January 14, 2013 06:41 PM (llljM)

27 If you have considered buying a pair of binoculars or even a telescope

Before they're banned.

Posted by: toby928© at January 14, 2013 06:41 PM (QupBk)

28 1
I read that as Comet Pantstars.


Posted by: Jane D'oh at January 14, 2013 06:21 PM

I read it as Comet Pornstars

Posted by: kbdabear at January 14, 2013 06:54 PM (wwsoB)

29 This means double the number of loons will kill themselves and/or others. You know its going to happen...

Posted by: waldo at January 14, 2013 06:59 PM (H96hE)

30 I read it as Comet Pornstars
Posted by: kbdabear at January 14, 2013 06:54 PM (wwsoB)


She was pretty good in "Special Room 2"

Posted by: Nevergiveup at January 14, 2013 07:06 PM (jE38p)

31 I've seen a comet.

When I was young my parents took me stargazing. I remember being facinatated by things astronomical . Haileys Comet was a bit of a let down even through a tetescope. Then when I had teenagers we had a great bright comet and I shared my excitement at after all these years seeing a naked eye comet. Then shortly thereafter we had another comet brightly visible. I was excited all over again.

When I called my teenage daughter to come out in the night to see a comet like she might never see again, I got "I've seen a comet". Like it happens every year. Teenage ennui

Posted by: Tmitsss at January 14, 2013 07:38 PM (/wDMj)

32 I don't suppose one of them will put us out of our misery...

Posted by: Hand Solo at January 14, 2013 07:56 PM (5e7Tb)

33 When Hale-Bopp came through we lived in San Pablo - SF Bay Area. You can almost see the Big Dipper with the naked eye.

Since then we've moved to New Mexico, are at 6800 feet and there is a big mountain between us and Albuquerque as well as very little humidity in the atmosphere to diffuse light. My husband says, "Spielberg Skies." On a moonless night the sky is a deep velvet black that pulls you up into space and the Milky Way is a clear pathway of stars.

BUT I still wish one of these comets would manage to crash itself into Mars. ISON is supposed to make a close Martian pass, but still far and away and no hope of impact. Sure, an impact on Jupiter is dramatic, but an impact on Mars would be scientifically amazing.

Posted by: Synova at January 14, 2013 08:52 PM (7/PU+)

34 BTW, what happened to naming comets after the people who identify them first?

Posted by: Synova at January 14, 2013 08:53 PM (7/PU+)

35 Freakin mayans turned out didn't know their butt from a hole in some guy's chest.

Posted by: EROWMER at January 14, 2013 08:59 PM (kxlCQ)

36 I love the space-talk on AoS. Makes me feel at home.

Posted by: Morris at January 14, 2013 09:34 PM (BAZtk)

37 The danger from comets is greatly understated by astronomers - who calculate the impact risk by using the number of comets vs the number of asteroids and thus decide that comets represent only about 1% of the impact risk. This ignores three important facts about comets: 1) comets are much larger than asteroids on average. 2) comets tend to break apart. 3) comets are not as predictable as asteroids because they have non-gravitational components to their orbits. (I suspect that the cause of that non-gravitational component is the static electricity caused by the volatile material streaming out to form their tails.)

Approximately one third of the material that actually does hit the earth every year is comet fragments (meteor showers). Sometimes those fragments are large. The theory that a comet fragment hit the earth about 12,000 years ago causing the Younger-Dryas cooling event is bolstered by the fact that the precise year of the event was (within the margin of error) exactly 5 orbits of Hale-Bopp ago. Certainly the chance of impact increases when a great comet comes close to Earth's orbit; as comet Ison does. The critical time for a possible impact from an Ison fragment is about one year from today when we get close to comet's orbit.

Here is the orbit diagram for comet Ison (You need to have Java enabled to see it) Use the toolbars to rotate the orbit around so you can see how close the orbit comes to Earth.

http://tinyurl.com/9vwbmp3

So don't count SMOD out just yet.

Posted by: An Observation at January 15, 2013 09:27 AM (ylhEn)






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