News, One Hit Wonders, Science

Comet ISON Disintegrates … Again; Leftovers From `The Comet of the Century’ Fade

  Comet ISON is an ex-comet. Again. The “Comet of the Century” disappeared after it approached the sun on Thanksgiving Day. Scientists declared Comet ISON dead. Then they reported that fragments of the comet were still hurdling through space. Some reports said that Comet ISON was growing. Other reports said it was fading. It looks like Comet ISON is now officially dead. Remnants from Comet ISON were approaching the viewing field for the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory’s LASCO C3 ultraviolet detector. Glare from the sun blocked it from view before it re-emerged. As remnants the “comet of the century” passed the observatory, it grew dimmer and dimmer. In a Twitter update on Satuday, Karl Battams, an astrophysicist at the Naval Research Laboratory who has been studying ISON for months, wrote “I do think that something emerged from the sun, but probably a very small nucleus or ‘rubble pile.’ and I fear that may have now dissolved.” Solar Dynamics Observatory declared Comet ISON dead when it disappeared from view as it was about pass within 730,000 miles of the sun. Hours later, Comet ISON was spotted by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Observers reported a bright spot with what looked

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India Mars Mission Is on Its Way To Mars; Indian craft leaves Earth’s Orbit

  India Mars Mission: The craft for India’s Mars orbiter mission left Earth’s orbit early this morning after a maneuver set it on its way to Mars. The Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organization said the India Mars Mission craft fired its main engine for over 20 minutes to reach the correct velocity to leave the Earth’s orbit . In a statement, the Space Research Organization said “The Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended. The spacecraft is now on a course to encounter Mars after a journey of about 10 months around the sun.” The statement said that all systems onboard the India Mars mission spacecraft are performing normally. The India Mars Mission is India’s first craft set to explore the red planet.  The India Mars Mission lift off on Nov. 5. India hopes the Mars mission will demonstrate and advance technologies for space travel. The Mangalyaan, which means “Mars craft” in Hindi,  is a  3,000-pound orbiter craft. It will travel 485 million miles in over 300 days. The India Mars mission should reach an orbit around Mars next September. India will be the fourth space program to visit Mars. Soviet Union, the United States and Europe have already launched

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Comet ISON Disappears as It Approaches the Sun; Did the `Comet of the Century’ Survive?

Comet ISON appeared to disintegrate yesterday as it made its slingshot turn around the sun, but it looks like something survived. Comet ISON disappeared from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) as it made a close pass of the sun. Leading scientists suspect Comet ISON disintegrated.   Dean Pesnell, project scientist for SDO, said “We didn’t see Comet ISON in SDO. So we think it must have broken up and evaporated before it reached perihelion.” But another image was picked up by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and the European Space Agency. The comet of the century may have survived. On a camera called LASCO C3, observers picked up a blip of something coming around the sun. in an evening blog post, comet expert Karl Battams of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., wrote “Now, in the latest LASCO C3 images, we are seeing something beginning to gradually brighten up again. One could almost be forgiven for thinking that there’s a comet in the images!” On Thanksgiving Day, Comet ISON came within 684,000 miles of the solar surface. The comet of the century was subjected to extreme gravitational forces and solar wind during the encounter. Comet ISON was discovered

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Comet ISON: `Comet of the Century’ Passes Sun Today; Most Brilliant Cosmic Show Begins Tonight

Comet ISON is speeding toward the sun. Ison, the comet of the century, is brightening, but not throwing off fireworks. Skywatchers say the comet’s path is like riding a “bucking bronco” in space. Astronomers are waiting to see if Comet ISON survives its passage past with the Sun. Comet Ison will reach its closest approach to the sun today. Comet Ison was discovered on September 21, 2012 by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok. It is classified as a “sungrazer.” Comet ISON, the “comet of the century,” may be destroyed by Sun’s heat and gravitational tug before it has a chance to light up the skies. Some scientists say Comet ISON is already beginning to buckle. Associate director of the Britain’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, Prof Tim O’Brien, said: “It’s like throwing a snowball into fire. It’s going to be tough for it to survive. But luckily, it’s a big object and it moves fast, so it won’t spend too much time close to the Sun. There is a lot of uncertainty.” Comet Ison originated at the Oort Cloud, which is in the icy region at the furthest reaches of our Solar System. The comet of the century has been speeding toward

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Planet Without a Sun Found by Astronomers; World Floats Through Space Without a Star

Astronomers discovered a large planet floating freely through space with no star to orbit.  A planet without a sun has been discovered by astronomers. The cold planet is a difficult one to find because it isn’t orbiting a star, but that also makes it easier to study. The new planet was found by a team of astronomers who were working at the University of Hawaii at Mamoa. It is about 80 light years away from earth. Astronomers compared the newly discovered planet to a young Jupiter. In a statement, astronomy team leader Michael Liu said “We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that looks like this. It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars, but it is drifting out there all alone. I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist, and now we know they do.” Dr Michael Liu of the Institute for Astronomy identified the rogue planet from its “faint and unique heat signature.” PSO J318.5-22 has the same properties of other gas-giant planets that orbit around young stars.   The planet without a sun is a free-floating planet. It was given the name “PSO J318.5-22.” The new planet is estimated to

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Buddha Birth Date A Century Earlier Than Previously Thought? Oldest Buddhist Shrine Found In Nepal Suggests Gautama Buddha Born Around 550 B.C.

Was Buddha’s birth date a century earlier than previously thought? The oldest Buddhist shrine has been found in Nepal, and suggests that Gautama Buddha was born around 550 B.C., a century earlier than his widely-accepted birth date. The birthplace of Buddha has been found in Nepal, revealing that the origins of Buddhism date to the sixth century B.C., according to archaeologists, Discovery News reports. The archaeological team dug under a series of brick temples at the site and unearthed a previously unknown sixth-century B.C. timber structure. “What we have got is the earliest Buddhist shrine in the world,” says archaeologist Robin Coningham, The National Geographic reports. “By placing the life of the Gautama Buddha firmly into the sixth century B.C. we can understand the exact character of the social and economic context in which he taught – it was a time of dramatic change with the introduction of coinage, the concept of the state, urbanization, the growth of merchants and the middle classes,” Coningham, co-leader of the project, told Discovery News. The research appears in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity and was partially funded by the National Geographic Society, USA Today reports. The archaeology team reports digging beneath

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