Comet shining 15 times brighter than moon will fly by Earth


A comet which shines 15 times brighter than the moon and potentially visible in broad daylight will fly by the Earth next year, giving humans a chance to witness one of the most spectacular events.

Comet ISON is visiting the inner solar system and is set to put on spectacular views for the Northern Hemisphere across November and December in 2013 as it heads toward the sun, the Daily Mail reported.

The comet, discovered by astronomers in Russia using the International Scientific Optical Network telescope, will pass within two million miles of the sun's surface.

The comet, researchers say, is supposed to be on a 'parabolic' orbit which means it probably originated from the outer skirts of the solar system from the Oort cloud - a mass of icy debris which lies 50,000 times further from the sun than the Earth.

It is currently moving inwards from beyond Jupiter, and as it approaches the Earth, the 'dirty snowball' could produce a dazzling display, burning brighter than the moon and potentially being visible in broad daylight.

Comet ISON may prove to be brighter than any comet of the last century, visible even in broad daylight, and this may end up being its one and only trip to the solar system, as its trajectory may see it plunge into the sun in a fiery death.

Comets are dusty balls of ice, which generally originate from the Kuipler belt - a region of icy small bodies beyond Neptune. Occasionally, a comet gets dislodged from its orbit, and plunges in to the inner solar system.

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