A new kid on the block

To the editor:

On Sept. 21, 2012, two astronomers working for the International Scientific Optical Network spotted a new comet on the far side of the planet Jupiter, and they named it “ISON.” This comet, as it races towards the sun, should be seen with the naked eye in early November 2013 about one half-hour before sunrise in the southeastern sky.

As it approaches closer to the sun, it may be destroyed by the heat of the solar winds – like Icarus of Greek mythology, who flew too close to the sun, which melted the wax of his man-made wings made of feathers, and he fell into the sea! Let’s hope that this comet survives this ordeal. But remember, cats and comets are much alike as they both have tails and both are unpredictable!

If this new comet survives, it will emerge from behind the sun in early December 2013. It should be at its brightest between Nov. 23 to Dec. 6, just above the horizon, with its tail pointed up. This display should be spectacular as it will be brighter than the full moon Nov. 17. As a heavenly gift, the comet should be seen Dec. 25 – merry Christmas!

Note: In 1973, the Comet Kohoutek was overplayed by the press, and it was a “dud.” In 1975, Comet West – when the comet was approaching, the press didn’t take advantage of it, yet it was the best, with two tails!

Ted Morrow

Saranac Lake


-International Scientific Optical Network (ISON)

-Farmers Almanac, 2014