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Mon, Jun 17, 2024

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Professor Ed Brown presents: Comets: Icy Wayfarers from the Outer solar System  (Public Programs)

Professor Ed Brown describes: Close to the sun, a comet can be one of the most spectacular objects in the solar system, with tails of gas and dust stretching for tens of millions of miles. Far from the sun, the comet may exist only as a small dirty snowball, a few miles across. This talk will explore how these dirty snowballs can transform into spectacular sights as they near the sun and how they inform us about the history of the solar system. Intriguingly, there is a possibility that two comets in 2013 may become bright enough to be visible to the naked eye, but, as of February, nobody knows for sure how bright either will become. The first of these comets, Comet PANSTARRS, will have arrived in our evening skies by mid-March. The second, Comet ISON, is expected toward the end of the year. Will they shine or fizzle?

more information...

Location: Abrams Planetarium [map]
Price: free
Sponsor: Physics Astronomy Department
Contact: Mary Gowans
email pic
phone pic 517-355-4676