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Comet Coming in 2013: Bright Comet ISON Expected to Pass By Earty

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Dec 31, 2012 11:33 AM EST

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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo went on successful test flight.(Photo : Reuters)

A comet coming towards Earth will pass by in 2013. Reuters reported that the comet could be so bright that it could outshine the moon.

The comet was recently discovered and called comet ISON and is set to fly within 1.2 million miles from the center of the sun with an expected date of Nov. 28, 2013.

"As the comet approaches, heat from the sun will vaporize ices in its body, creating what could be a spectacular tail that is visible in Earth's night sky without telescopes or even binoculars from about October 2013 through January 2014," reported Reuters.

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Comet ISON come from the Ooort Cloud which is frozen rocks and ice that circle the sun.  "If Comet ISON can survive perihelion passage ... then we are almost surely in for a striking display in the morning sky as Comet ISON recedes from the Sun next December," observer John Bortle said this month on the Comets Mailing List, NBC News reported.

On Sept. 21 two amateur astronomers from Russia spotted a comet in images they took from a telescope which is part of the International Scientific Optical Network or, ISON, hence the name of the comet.

"The object was slow and had a unique movement. But we could not be certain that it was a comet because the scale of our images are quite small and the object was very compact," astronomer Artyom Novichonok, one of the men who discovered ISON, wrote in a comets email list hosted by Yahoo, Reuters reported. "It's really rare, exciting."

Reuters reported that the comet's path is extremely similar to the comet that passed by earth in 1680. "Comet ISON...could be the brightest comet seen in many generations - brighter even than the full moon," British astronomer David Whitehouse said in The Independent.

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