“It’s really rare, exciting,” Novichonok wrote.
Comet ISON’s path is very similar to a comet that passed by Earth in 1680, one which was so bright its tail reportedly could be seen in daylight.
The projected orbit of comet ISON is so similar to the 1680 comet that some scientists are wondering if they are fragments from a common parent body.
“Comet ISON could be the brightest comet seen in many generations - brighter even than the full moon,” wrote British astronomer David Whitehouse in The Independent.
In 2013, Earth has two shots at a comet show. Comet Pan-STARRS is due to pass by the planet in March, eight months before ISON’s arrival.
NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover may be able to provide a preview.
Comet ISON is due to pass by the red planet in September and could be a target for the rover from its vantage point inside Gale Crater.
The last comet to dazzle Earth’s night-time skies was Comet Hale-Bopp, which visited in 1997. Comet 17P/Holmes made a brief appearance in 2007.