Comet ISON is alive – and come back

Comet C/2012 S1, which astronomers also call Comet ISON, did not die after its close pass at the Sun two days ago. (Source: ABC News) Yesterday morning (Friday 29 November 2012) at 8:11 a.m. EST, an object appeared near the Sun on Comet ISON’s course track. ( Sources: CNN, ABC, Huffington Post) It grew a tail and already has a corona 1000 times the diameter of Earth. So Comet ISON has almost surely passed the Sun. It broke into a few large pieces instead of thousands of little pieces. Continue reading

MAVEN and NASA’s inconvenient truth

Yesterday, NASA launched its latest deep-space rocket probe: MAVEN. MAVEN, unlike Curiosity and other earlier missions, will study the atmosphere of Mars, not its ground. NASA hopes MAVEN will help them explain how Mars once held a lot of water (or water flowing very fast), and where that water went. NASA’s spokespeople say they want to know how Mars went from warm and wet to cold and dry in a billion or so years. But the problem isn’t with any process. The problem is with the first conditions. Continue reading