New image of comet heading for the sun is released

Nov. 18, 2013 at 4:14 PM
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A comet with the potential to become the most spectacular example seen in the skies in years has been captured in a new telescopic image, U.S. astronomers say.

Comet ISON is speeding through the inner solar system at about 120,000 mph on its way to a close approach to the sun Nov. 28, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reported.

Currently visible with telescopes or binoculars, a new image is obtained with the MicroObservatory robotic telescope system was released by the center Monday.

The MicroObservatory is a network of automated telescopes, developed by scientists and educators at the astrophysics center that can be controlled through the Internet.

The new photo from the system designed to enable students and teachers nationwide to investigate celestial objects from their classrooms was taken by retired teacher Bruce Mellin using one of the system's telescopes in Arizona.

If it survives its close encounter with the sun, Comet ISON could become easily visible to the unaided eye in dawn skies, astronomers said.

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