"A Comet is Coming", Dr Clay Sherrod

From the very depths of our Solar System, the neighborhood of planet Earth.....from what may be a dark and frozen distance of five trillion miles...... A Comet Is Coming. Perhaps fresh from the scientifically-named Oort Cloud of debris that make up the infamous comets of antiquity, a visitor has been steadily approaching the inner sanctum of our Solar System, just having passed the orbit of the planet Mars, a distance of some 100 million miles away. As this visitor - Comet ISON, c2012 S1 - approaches it is speeding up and will achieve speeds in excess of 425,000 miles per hour in late November as it slingshots past the Sun and Earth and then heads back out into space perhaps to return at a future date for our children and grandchildren.

But Comet ISON is a "fresh comet", one that we believe has not been ever subjected to the Sun's violent outbursts and radiation; if so, scientists believe that stargazers around the world are in for an incredible show in late November and throughout December as the comet swings very close to Earth. Because it is fresh, and composed of volatile frozen gases and rare elements, it is possible that Comet ISON may be the best comet in many of our lifetimes. So spectacular, some say, the it is quite possible that ISON may be actually seen naked eye in broad daylight if one carefully blocks the sun with a thumb, this forecast for the last week in November 2013.

At this time, Comet ISON is covering more than 1.25 million miles every day as it is pulled in by the gravity of the sun to its close approach on November 28, 2013. After that, the comet will climb slowly each morning in the early pre-dawn skies until Christmastime, when Comet ISON is likely to be a bright naked eye comet overhead in the evening, filling the northern sky with a splendid tail, the very image that brought myth, mythology and fear to ancient people worldwide. But, predicting the performance of a comet is far less accurate than predicting the outcome of an honest horse race. We will really not know for sure until the comet comes in for its close approach. With that in mind, the public is invited to a very special presentation: "A Comet Is Coming....." presented by Dr. P. Clay Sherrod of the Arkansas Sky Observatories network as part of his annual science and space presentations given each October at Pensacola State College. This will be the 10th such presentation at the College and visitors are encouraged to arrive early because seating is limited and there is usually standing room only.

"A Comet Is Coming...." will be presented free of charge in room 2142 at Pensacola State College at 7 PM on Saturday, October 5, 2013. It is sponsored by the Student Chapter of the Escambia Amateur Astronomers Association. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to attend to learn more about this comet, the physical nature of comets (what makes them so mystical and intriguing), as well as some of the famous comets of antiquity, from Shakespeare to the birth of Christ. Many of the factors that determine the actual appearance of Comet ISON will be presented and compared to comets of past years.

Join or login to comment.

  • Rick H.

    The new location is bigger than the previous room we used for this annual presentation so bring family and friends along. I met with Dr Clay and his lovely wife this morning and I'm certain this is going to be one of his best programs so far.

    We are thankful he decided to extend his vacation time here and for all the preparation work he goes through for one of the lectures. He does these strictly for the shear enjoyment of it so please extend your gratitude to him and Patsy.

    The Friday night Pensacola Beach sidewalk astronomy night scheduled for Oct 11 is still on (weather permitting) and we encourage everybody to come out for that too. It will be held at the gulfside pavilion due south of the beachball water tower.

    Rick

    October 9, 2013

  • Rick H.

    Yet another change, this time the venue. The presentation has been moved to Hagler Hall off of Underwood Street, room 252 PSC, should be signs directing attendees.

    Dinner is still on for 5:00pm at Golden Corral, 9th Ave. We sincerely apologize for all the changes, and hope this is the last one.

    Rick

    October 8, 2013

  • Rick H.

    OK, the dinner and presentation are rescheduled for next Saturday, Oct 12, same time 7pm, rm 2142 PSC. Dinner at 5pm Golden Corral 9th Ave.

    Rick

    October 5, 2013

  • Rick Hogue changed the date and time from Saturday, October 05, 2013 at 7:00 PM to Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    October 4, 2013

  • Rick H.

    Doc Clay's presentation scheduled for Saturday evening has been cancelled, the college will be closed. I will post the new date as soon as I know something.

    We are all bummed about this.

    Rick

    October 4, 2013

  • Rick H.

    The Friday night stargaze has been cancelled as most would guess. The Saturday night presentation is still dependent on what Karen does. I will post here as soon as I hear something definate.

    Rick

    October 3, 2013

  • Rick H.

    The stargaze is Friday night, the dinner and lecture are Saturday night. Dinner is at Golden Corral on 9th Ave at 5:00pm, we usually gather in the back corner room to the right of the entrance. The presentation begins at 7:00pm, rm 2142, PSC, right across from the planetarium entrance.

    The Friday night stargaze is scheduled to be at the soundside parking lot just before the Ft Pickens gate. This lot is about 4 miles west of the main intersection on Pensacola Beach. It is the lot just past the last set of condos on the right heading west.

    The stargaze is looking iffy right now due to the approaching low pressure. Should the weather be clear we will be there, cloudy skies will result in a cancellation.

    The dinner and comet presentation will go on no matter the weather.

    Rick

    October 2, 2013

  • Tracey S. W.

    When is the stargaze? Right after the lecture?

    October 2, 2013

  • Stuart B.

    I am. new here. Where is the gate? How far out from the bridge from the city is this parking lot?

    October 2, 2013

  • Rick H.

    Dr Wooten has relocated the Friday night stargaze to the soundside parking lot just before the Ft Pickens gate. While this is not a dark sky site it is about the only place to hold the event.

    Rick

    October 2, 2013

  • Mark R.

    Hi everyone--I've been wanting to get out to one of the local astronomy events forever. Of course, now with the government shutdown, what's happening with the Ft. Pickens stargazing? Is it being moved elsewhere outside the closed park?

    October 1, 2013

  • Rick H.

    We sure hope you can make it Vida. Dr Clay is gives a very interesting lecture and has been teaching and doing astronomical research for over 40 years.

    The astronomy club will also be hosting Dr Clay for our last Ft Pickens Battery Worth public stargaze the night preceding the presentation and for dinner at the Golden Corral on 9th Ave at 5 pm on the 5th.

    Everybody is invited to all of these get togethers, Dr Clay likes a big crowd.

    Rick

    1 · July 21, 2013

  • Vida V.

    I live more than an hour away, but will do my best to attend - looks so interesting!

    July 20, 2013

  • Vida V.

    Thank you for posting this =:-)

    July 20, 2013

  • Rick H.

    When I first started posting these events I asked Johnny if he wanted me to suggest it as a meet up or just post it in the discussion thread. He said post it in the meet up section. Is this the wrong place to post it?

    July 16, 2013

    • Shari J.

      This is a good place to post events of interest to our group. Science Café is by nature informal and casual.

      July 17, 2013

  • Shari J.

    This is not a Science Café sponsored event but it looks interesting! Thanks Rick for suggesting it.

    July 16, 2013

  • Rick Hogue changed the location to Pensacola State College

    July 15, 2013

  • Rick Hogue changed the date and time to Saturday, October 05, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    July 15, 2013

40 went

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more
Katie

I'm surprised by the level of growth I've seen since becoming an organizer, it's given me more confidence in my abilities.

Katie, started NYC ICO

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy