UT Hosts Talk about Near-Earth Comet ISON

A UT research associate will host a public talk about the bright Comet ISON. Comet ISON will reach its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, and hopefully be visible to the naked eye in early December.

The talk will take place 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, in the Nielsen Physics Building, Room 415. Parking is available for a fee in Volunteer Hall across Cumberland Avenue.

Sean Lindsay, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will discuss what comets are, Comet ISON and how comets help us understand the formation of the Solar System, and what knowledge scientists hope to glean from comet ISON’s passage through the inner Solar System.

Comet ISON is an especially beautiful and bright comet. It recently cruised through the constellation Virgo, and it will brush just 1.16 million miles past the sun on Thanksgiving Day.

Scientists have been tracking the journey since September 2012. These observations will enable scientists to understand what the comet is made of, how it reacts to its environment, and what this explains about the origins of the solar system. Because the comet is closer to the sun, scientists will be able to watch how the comet and its tail interact with the vast solar atmosphere, shedding more light on the sun itself, according to NASA. To learn more, visit NASA.

C O N T A C T :

Paul Lewis (865-974-9601, gplewis@utk.edu)

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460, wheins@utk.edu)

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