Comet ISON has been discovered that is predicted to be visible to the naked eye in the skies during late 2013. With a perihelion passage of less than two million kilometres from the Sun on 28 November 2013, current predictions are of an object that will light up the sky with a magnitude —16.
The uncertainty is that we don’t know what will happen after it passes by the Sun, it could pose a threat to the earth and Mars.
Some Biblical scholars are calling it a possible “wormwood” type object.
“Even if this comet survives the Sun’s passage, which is by no
means guaranteed…it can be split up into many small pieces, we really don’t know.”
– Karl Hibbits, Ph.D., John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
That’s far brighter than the full Moon. If predictions hold true then C/2012 S1 will certainly be one of the greatest comets in human history, far outshining the memorable Comet Hale-Bopp of 1997 and very likely to outdo the long-awaited Comet Pan-STARRS (C/2011 L4) which is set to stun in March 2013.
The new comet, named C/2012 S1 (ISON) was found by the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) in Russia on 21 September when astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok captured it on CCD images taken through a 0.4-metre reflector. Its near-parabolic orbit suggests that it has arrived fresh from the Oort Cloud, a vast zone of icy objects orbiting the Sun, pristine remnants of the formation of the Solar System.