Delta State University Associate Professor of Physics and Director of Wiley Planetarium Dr. Alina Gabryszewska-Kukawa will give the lectures about the comet and is sponsored by Delta State’s Division of Biological and Physical Sciences.
“Our time is a special time because we just can see [this] beautiful comet with [the] naked eye, and this comet with stay with us for almost a month,” said Kukawa.
Comet Ison, which measures three to four miles in diameter and is classified as a medium comet, will be flying 40 million miles away from Earth at its closest point on Dec. 26.
The Sun-grazer comet is made up of mostly ice and dust and could potentially melt as it goes around the Sun at only around 1.1 million miles above the Sun’s surface, although Kukawa doesn’t believe it will.
It will be visible now until the end of November in the early morning on the eastern horizon.
In December, the comet will be visible in the western night sky.
Comet Ison’s tail, which is caused by solar wind and is made up of dust and gas from the comet, is also visible.
It started showing its tail close to Mars and is expected to be around 100 million miles long at its longest, although some scientists believe it could be as long as 156 million miles long according to Kukawa.
Although the comet is flying close to Earth there is no danger of collision.
Be sure to attend the lecture to learn more about the comet and have a guided viewing of the night sky with Kukawa.