Comet Encounter

Comet Encounter

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 10:00pm

Hubble captures ISON.

Credit: Courtesy of NASA

Follow a once-in-a-lifetime event — Comet ISON’s brush with the sun. 

In this program, scientists around the world follow a once-in-a-lifetime event, the path of the sun-grazing comet ISON. The comet, somewhere between one and 10 kilometers in diameter, is currently just beyond the orbit of Jupiter. As it races past Earth toward the sun, it will likely develop a tail to light up the night skies. Then ISON will slingshot around the back of the sun, to emerge perhaps brighter than ever. But there’s jeopardy, too; ISON could evaporate completely, or the sun’s gravity could tear it apart, producing a so-called “string of pearls” – several small comets arching across the night sky. Don’t miss the breathtaking images captured in Comet Encounter airing Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV.