At the Creation Museum, we recently introduced a brand-new planetarium show titled Fires in the Sky. This spectacular show, written by our astronomer Dr. Danny Faulkner, deals with the topic of sun-grazing comets. These are comets that pass very close to the sun, and as a result, they are incredibly bright.
What’s significant about our new Fires in the Sky show is that it’s preparing audiences to view a comet we’ll soon be able to see in the night sky. The comet is named Comet ISON. It was discovered by a Russian observatory that was part of the International Scientific Optical Network, and so the comet was named ISON. In December, Comet ISON will travel near the sun, and it should be a dazzling sight! Below are some instructions from Dr. Faulkner on how to view Comet ISON:
In early October, Comet ISON may be visible with a telescope. It will be in the east in the morning sky, passing through the constellation Leo. It will pass Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, and the planet Mars.
In November, it will pick up speed and brighten tremendously as it passes by Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, and then the planet Saturn. On November 28, Comet ISON will reach its closest point to the sun, its perihelion. It will likely be brightest at this time and shortly thereafter. It may be visible during the day, but you must be careful if trying to look at it as it will appear very close to the sun. You should never look directly at the sun, as it can cause serious damage to your eyes. There is a possibility that the sun’s radiation and gravity will destroy the comet, but most astronomers believe it will survive.
In December, Comet ISON will be visible in both the east in the morning and the west in the evening. In January it will fade from naked-eye visibility; although those with binoculars or telescopes will be able to follow it for several months. To see Comet ISON, you will need clear weather and a good exposure toward the horizon, with few trees or buildings to block your view. It’s best to be away from city lights too. If you can manage this, what you see may be breathtaking.
Don’t miss out on this amazing experience—and don’t forget to come to the Creation Museum to see Fires in the Sky!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,