Astronomers plan campaign to track ISON comet

Bangalore, Aug 19 : Amateur astronomers and scientists plan to launch a nationwide campaign to track the comet ISON, which will appear in the inner solar system for over a month from Nov 28.

"Though the comet has entered the solar system in July and is visible through telescope presently, it can been viewed through naked eye from Nov 28 till December-end as it gets closer to the sun at a distance of 150 million km from the earth," Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samithi official H.S. Jayakumar told IANS.

The Samithi is an organisation promoted by the scientific community of the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc), headed by eminent scientist C.N.R. Rao.

As a sun grazing comet, ISON was discovered Sep 21, 2012 by Russian astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok by using a reflector of the international scientific optical network near Kislovodsk in Russia.

"The comet will to perihelion, which is closest approach to the sun Nov 28 at a distance of 18 million km from the centre point of the sun," Jayakumar said.

The Samithi is organising a three-day workshop from Tuesday at the IISc to generate awareness and educate the people, especially the young generation.

"We plan to have resource persons to train teachers and science activists at state and regional levels to spread the information on the comet and day time astronomy," Jayakumar noted.

About 50 scientists and amateur astronomers from the southern states will participate in the workshop to chalk out the campaign plan.

--IANS (Posted on 19-08-2013)

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