The Great Comets (Maybe) of 2013


2013 could be the best year for comets since 1996-1997 when  Hyakutake, and  Hale-Bopp made their appearances. Two potentially naked eye comets are being tracked. One may be visible in March and the other in December.

Disclaimer: Predictions like this are always made with apprehension. Sometimes they fail to meet brightness predictions, and sometimes they don’t look as expected. There are four types of comets: those that fail to match predictions, those that unexpectedly perform, those that perform as expected, and those that perform as expected but are hard to see anyway.

There are two types of bright comets: those that pass near the sun, and those that pass near the Earth. Bright comets that give off lots of dust and gas near perihelion are at their best in either the morning or evening as they approach, or recede from, the sun. These may easily visible for days or a couple weeks. They may have great tails. But they have to be extremely bright to be visible near the sun.   Some extremely bright comets have only been visible by satellite. <note: link may be intermittent??>
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NRA Grassroots


Recently the NRA has received a huge reminder of its purpose. Years ago, in the 1990’s (President Clinton) I joined the NRA. It was a statement that I felt the 2nd Amendment right to self defense was important. A few years later, I let the membership lapse, at least in part, because I thought that like many other organizations such as APS (American Physical Society), the NRA was failing its primary purpose as its hierarchy was taken over by organizers wanting to redirect NRA lobbying efforts away from its primary mission, 2nd Amendment protections. I think since then the NRA has recovered somewhat as the “Right to Carry” effort has expanded, supporting it especially with qualifying gun safety courses.

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I hope to use this web site to comment about Physics and Astronomy, Religion, Books I’ve read and other things. Maybe I will learn to proof read – but I doubt it.