Awaiting ISON

Comet ISON November 28 will be at its maximum proximity to the Sun and its foliage is expected to become fluent; then it start to get closer to our planet reaching only 60 million kilometers on the night of Christmas, when we will constantly see its shine in the sky. The arrival of the comet is important from a scientific point of view of the show and that because there will be many events organized for the occasion by the institutes and observers of INAF.

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2013 is rightfully considered to be the year of the comet.

Not everyone knows that our sky is crossed daily by other bodies belonging to this particular class of celestial objects. The year that is drawing to a close (and it will continue in the early months of 2014 ) has witnessed several events of great interest to the scientific community that deals with comets , and have had a lot of resonance for a growing number of non-professional public enthusiasts.

In March, for example, the comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) has attracted a lot of people waiting along with the astronomers and was visible to the naked eye, although it was a bit disappointing ‘expectations that they gave as one of the possible candidates for the role of “great comet of the century”. However, in recent months fibrillation had been given waiting for the comet C/2012 S1 ( ISON ) , approaching towards the Sun, which will rise to its perihelion passage next November 28th in passing only 00:03 Astronomical Units (equivalent to slightly less than 4 million and a half miles) . Following this flyby by the Sun, if it can survive the immense destructive force of our star, the ISON continue its path through the solar system, much closer to the Earth, just passing on Christmas Eve at 0.4 Astronomical Units (amounted to almost 60 million km).

For astronomers these circumstances are invaluable. The pass extremely close to the Sun allows the triggering mechanisms of physical detectors of important features. The possibility of observing the comet very close to the Earth with the largest telescopes, gives the possibility to obtain all of the details that would otherwise remain unpublished.

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All this and more can be found during the events that the National Institute of Astrophysics is organizing in the next few weeks until January 2014 in the cities of Milan, Padua, Turin, Trieste , Bologna, Florence, Teramo, Rome, Naples , Catania, Palermo and Cagliari.

In Bologna you can follow the “Conference of the Observatory”, in particular that of 28 November, titled “Comet ISON: a deadly plunge towards the Sun?”.

In Cagliari, theme nights for adults and children are organized on Saturday, December 28th and Saturday, January 4th.

In Rome, a meeting with the children will be organized on 22 and 29 November to build a comet while parents accompanied by astronomers will follow a conference on minor bodies of the Solar System by meteorites and comets.

In Turin, for the observations of the comet 7, 8 and January 9, 2014, reservations are required.

In Naples, the events will start on November 28 and will continue on Saturday, January 18th with an Astrokids Event and Tuesday with 22 conferences and observations of the 40 cm telescope at the ISON.

INAF – Astronomical Observatory of Catania invites everyone to photograph the ISON and send pictures to be published on the webpage of the Observatory and the Observatories of Trieste, Palermo, Rome Teramo and the IAPS observations are planning workshops and conferences with programs available online from November 30. So, once again the scientific community INAF becomes visible to the public by making available its expertise, facilities, tools and enthusiasm because as Albert Einstein said “The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sense of mystery ; here is the seed of all art and all true science “

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