Gilman Library offers program on Comet ISON

ALTON —  A program on the Comet ISON will be offered at the Gilman Library on Tuesday, November 5 at 7 p.m.

Comet ISON, C/2012 S1 (ISON), should be clearly naked eye visible in New Hampshire by early November. Since mid-September amateur astronomers worldwide have been eagerly studying it with medium-power telescopes. Based on what they are seeing, this comet, hailed as being 'special' when discovered in 2012, should definitely be conspicuous in the night sky during November.

It is likely to be the most memorable comet seen in New Hampshire since Hale Bopp in 1997. Towards Thanksgiving, ISON, which will 'graze' the surface of the Sun, might even be daylight visible. There are five different scenarios to what can then happen as the Comet rounds the Sun. If it survives even partly intact it could be a tantalizing sight around Christmas. A Holiday Comet. It will be the 'Comet of 2013', possibly the 'Great Comet of 2013'. It has the potential to be the 'Comet of the Century'.

The presenter, Alton-resident Anura Guruge,  whose books on popes gained considerable attention during the papal transition earlier this year, has written and published three books on Comet ISON, in print and in 99 cent eBook form, in addition to another book on comets: 'Comets: 101 Facts & Trivia'. His main ISON book, already, at various times, has reached Amazon's #1 spot for books on 'Comets, Meteors & Asteroids'.

This interactive, one-hour, slide-based presentation will cover all aspects of Comet ISON, including its discovery, name, origins, characteristics, orbital path and Sun-encounter scenarios. Background information on comets in general, with references to past 'greats', will also be included to provide context and perspective. Audience participation will be encouraged.

Admission is free. All are welcome.