Looking for a Job?

Want to save the Earth? NASA posts job ad for ‘planetary protection officer’ (and it comes with a $187,000 salary)

  • NASA job opening is offering $124,406 to $187,000 yearly salary for 3-5 yr job
  • The space agency will be accepting applications for the position until Aug 14
  • This officer works to ensure no contaminants are brought to space, or back

As the limits of human and robotic space exploration stretch further than ever before, a small group of officials tasked with ‘planetary protection’ are hard at work ensuring contaminants from Earth don’t hitch a ride to other planets, or vice versa.

Between NASA and ESA, there are just two full-time Planetary Protection Officers in the world – and now, NASA is hiring for the position.

The space agency is offering up to $187,000 salary for whoever is selected to fill the sole vacancy, and will be accepting applications until August 14.

As the limits of human and robotic space exploration stretch further than ever before, a small group of officials tasked with ‘planetary protection’ are hard at work ensuring contaminants from Earth don’t hitch a ride to other planets, or vice versa

As the limits of human and robotic space exploration stretch further than ever before, a small group of officials tasked with ‘planetary protection’ are hard at work ensuring contaminants from Earth don’t hitch a ride to other planets, or vice versa

THE QUALIFICATIONS

To be eligible for the position of Planetary Protection Officer, candidates must:

  • Have at least 1 year of ‘broad engineering expertise’ in a top level civilian government position
  • Be a ‘recognized subject matter expert,’ with advanced knowledge of planetary protection, and demonstrate experience ‘planning, executing, or overseeing elements of space programs of national significance’
  • Possess ‘demonstrated skills in diplomacy that resulted in win-win solutions during extremely difficult and complex multilateral discussions’
  • Have a degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics, or a combination of education and experience equivalent to such a degree

Currently, the title belongs to Catharine Conley, who has been NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer since 2014, Business Insider reports.

According to the job opening, which is offering $124,406 to $187,000 salary, the position is initially appointed for 3 years and has potential to extend another 2.

Whoever is chosen will be tasked with overseeing planetary protection and maintain the policies as they apply to NASA missions.

These efforts aim to ensure the prevention of any unintentional contamination.

‘Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration,’ the inquiry explains.

‘NASA maintains policies for planetary protection applicable to all space flight missions that may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies, and any mission employing spacecraft, which are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration.’

According to Business Insider, the PPO stems from the US ratification of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

This states that space missions must have less than 1-in-10,000 chance of contaminating the planetary bodies being explored.

The job requires frequent travel, as the PPO may have to examine instruments and gear ahead of launches.

Whoever is chosen as Planetary Protection Officer will be tasked with overseeing planetary protection and maintain the policies as they apply to NASA missions. These efforts aim to ensure the prevention of any unintentional contamination

Whoever is chosen as Planetary Protection Officer will be tasked with overseeing planetary protection and maintain the policies as they apply to NASA missions. These efforts aim to ensure the prevention of any unintentional contamination

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4751608/NASA-posts-job-ad-planetary-protection-officer.html#ixzz4ocBQT2AF
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What’s Going on on Europa?

Nasa to reveal ‘surprising activity’ on Jupiter’s moon Europa (but it says it is NOT aliens)

  • The press briefing will be held at 14:00 ET (19:00 GMT) on Monday
  • Nasa researchers will present images taken by the Hubble telescope
  • Experts think it could be related to plumes of water vapour seen in 2012
  • Many had speculated that the announcement would reveal the first signs of extraterrestrial life beyond Earth, but Nasa dismissed this on Twitter

Nasa is expected to make an announcement about ‘surprising activity’ on Jupiter’s moon, Europa, on Monday.

Many speculated that Nasa could finally be announcing evidence of life beyond Earth.

The space agency, however, has poured cold water over these claims, tweeting that the much anticipated announcement will not be related to aliens.

Jupiter's sixth-closest moon Europa is one of the most interesting bodies in our solar system when it comes to the hunt for extra terrestrial life. Now Nasa has released a cryptic message saying 'surprising' evidence about the moon will be announced on Monday

Jupiter’s sixth-closest moon Europa is one of the most interesting bodies in our solar system when it comes to the hunt for extra terrestrial life. Now Nasa has released a cryptic message saying ‘surprising’ evidence about the moon will be announced on Monday

Jupiter’s sixth-closest moon Europa lies 500 million miles from the sun and has an ocean lying beneath its surface which makes it one of the most likely places in the solar system for life to thrive.

The press briefing will be held at 14:00 ET (19:00 GMT) on Monday, and broadcast in a live video stream.

‘Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa,’ Nasa officials wrote.

Nasa categorically stated in a later tweet that the discovery, which is due to be revealed on Monday is 'NOT aliens'

Nasa categorically stated in a later tweet that the discovery, which is due to be revealed on Monday is ‘NOT aliens’

WHAT WE KNOW

Nasa researchers will present results from a Europa observing campaign.

The campaign found ‘surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean’.

The images to be presented were taken by the Hubble space telescope.

The press briefing will be held at 14:00 ET (19:00 GMT) on Monday, and broadcast in a live video stream.

The images presented will have been taken by the Hubble space telescope.

Because Europa has the potential to have more liquid water than we have on Earth, some had speculated that the surprise reveal could be evidence for life.

The 1,900-mile-wide (3,100 km) moon harbors a huge ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell.

Astronomers think this ocean is in contact with Europa’s rocky mantle, making all sorts of interesting chemical reactions a possibility.

Instead of direct evidence of life, however, experts have said it is more likely to be a step towards finding it.

The announcement could be related to faint plumes of water spotted on the moon back in 2012.  This graphic shows the location of water vapor detected over Europa's south pole in December 2012

The announcement could be related to faint plumes of water spotted on the moon back in 2012.  This graphic shows the location of water vapor detected over Europa’s south pole in December 2012

JUPITER’S ICY MOON EUROPA

Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is slightly smaller than Earth’s moon.

Europa orbits Jupiter every 3.5 days and is tidally locked – just like Earth’s Moon – so that the same side of Europa faces Jupiter at all times.

It is thought to have an iron core, a rocky mantle and a surface ocean of salty water, like Earth.

Unlike on Earth, however, this ocean is deep enough to cover the whole surface of Europa, and being far from the sun, the ocean surface is globally frozen over.

Many experts believe the hidden ocean surrounding Europa, warmed by powerful tidal forces caused by Jupiter’s gravity, may have conditions favourable for life.

This is an artist's concept of a plume of water vapour thought to be ejected off the frigid, icy surface of the Jovian moon Europa, about 500 million miles (800 million km) from the sun

This is an artist’s concept of a plume of water vapour thought to be ejected off the frigid, icy surface of the Jovian moon Europa, about 500 million miles (800 million km) from the sun

WHO WILL SPEAK AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT

Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at Nasa Headquarters in Washington.

William Sparks, astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

Britney Schmidt, assistant professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Jennifer Wiseman, senior Hubble project scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The announcement could be related to faint plumes of water spotted on the moon back in 2012.

Hubble used a spectrograph to see normally invisible plumes of water vapour, shown in pictures as blue pixels above the moon.

‘By far the simplest explanation for this water vapour is that it erupted from plumes on the surface of Europa,’ lead author Lorenz Roth of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio said at the time.

‘If those plumes are connected with the subsurface water ocean we are confident exists under Europa’s crust, then this means that future investigations can directly investigate the chemical makeup of Europa’s potentially habitable environment without drilling through layers of ice.

‘And that is tremendously exciting.’

Bill McKinnon, a planetary scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, told Business Insider the announcement is likely to be connected to these plumes.

‘A plume confirmation would be a great thing,’ McKinnon added, but ‘I have no insider knowledge.’

Hubble’s instruments were not designed to see any of Europa’s geology or study what elements are present in the plumes, so an announcement of this kind is unlikely.

Baby Planets & Earth’s Formation

‘Infant’ Alien Planet Discovery Shakes Up Ideas About How Worlds Form

Astronomers say ‘K2-33b’ is just 5 million to 10 million years old.

06/27/2016
  • David Freeman Managing Editor of Impact & Innovation, The Huffington Post
  • Astronomers have found what they say is the youngest fully formed exoplanet ever seen, and it’s shaking up ideas about how planets form.

    “This discovery is a remarkable milestone in exoplanet science,” Erik Petigura, a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech in Pasadena, California, and coauthor of a paper about the finding, said in a written statement. The discovery, he said, could help explain the origins of Earth “and eventually the origin of life.”

    More than 3,000 exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) have been found to date, and just about all are believed to be at least a billion years old. But the newly identified exoplanet, a body roughly six times the size of Earth that’s located about 470 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpio, is just 5 million to 10 million years old.

    “You might think of it as an infant,” Trevor David, an astronomer at Caltech and the paper’s lead author, said of the exoplanet in a written statement.

    And age isn’t the only thing unusual about K2-33b, as the exoplanet has been dubbed. It’s locked in an extremely tight orbit around its host star. How tight? K2-33b is roughly 10 times closer to its star than Mercury, the innermost planet of our solar system, is to the sun.

    NASA/JPL-Caltech
    This diagram shows the K2-33 system and its planet K2-33b as compared to our own solar system. The planet is nearly 10 times closer to its star than Mercury is to the sun.

    The fact that such a young exoplanet is so close to its star is surprising, because astronomers had theorized that it takes much longer than 5 million to 10 million years for a star’s gravitational forces to pull a planet into such a tight orbit. Or as Petigura told The Huffington Post in an email, K2-33b “is inconsistent with a whole class of theories that predict planets migrate on timescales of hundreds of millions or billions of years.”

    So what does explain the infant exoplanet? There are a couple of possibilities, according to David: K2-33b could have been tugged inward rapidly by the very disk of gas and dust from which it formed (a process known as disk migration), or it could have formed in its current location (a process called “in situ” planet formation).

    “The implication is that now both disk migration and in situ formation have more evidence for support,” David said via email. “The slower migration scenario that we ruled out might still be relevant in some cases, but we can at least say that it is not the only way to produce a close-in planet.”

    Petigura added: “No single discovery is going to answer all our questions about how the earth formed, but as we find more young planets we’ll get a clearer picture of how planet formation proceeds in general, which is important for understanding the formation of the earth and the origin of life.”

    K2-33b was discovered with the help of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope and Hawaii’s W.M. Keck Observatory.

    The paper was published online June 20, 2016, in the journal Nature.

    from:    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/discovery-of-infant-exoplanet-may-help-explain-origin-of-life_us_576ab7b5e4b065534f487837?section=

    What in the Galaxy is Going On?

    Our Galaxy Awakens!

    by Zen Gardner

    If anyone needs a confirmation of this energetic change we’re experiencing as well as expecting more of, scientists have just confirmed it. This is big news and should be an encouragement to many that what we’ve been sensing does indeed have a confirmed, identifiable physical counterpart.

    Three orbiting X-ray space telescopes have detected an increased rate of X-ray flares from the usually quiet giant black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy after new long-term monitoring. Scientists are trying to learn whether this is normal behavior that was unnoticed due to limited monitoring, or these flares are triggered by the recent close passage of a mysterious, dusty object. [Emphases mine]

    By combining information from long monitoring campaigns by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton, with observations by the Swift satellite, astronomers were able to carefully trace the activity of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole over the last 15 years. The supermassive black hole, a.k.a. Sagittarius A*, weighs in at slightly more than 4 million times the mass of the Sun. X-rays are produced by hot gas flowing toward the black hole.

    The new study reveals that Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* for short) has been producing one bright X-ray flare about every ten days. However, within the past year, there has been a ten-fold increase in the rate of bright flares from Sgr A*, at about one every day. This increase happened soon after the close approach to Sgr A* by a mysterious object called G2.

    “For several years, we’ve been tracking the X-ray emission from Sgr A*. This includes also the close passage of this dusty object” said Gabriele Ponti of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany. “A year or so ago, we thought it had absolutely no effect on Sgr A*, but our new data raise the possibility that that might not be the case.”

    Originally, astronomers thought G2 was an extended cloud of gas and dust. However, after passing close to Sgr A* in late 2013, its appearance did not change much, apart from being slightly stretched by the gravity of the black hole.   This led to new theories that G2 was not simply a gas cloud, but instead a star swathed in an extended dusty cocoon. (Source)

    h-817-sgra_3paneld

    A Cloaked Star?

    An interesting idea there, even though we know NASA and related agencies are filled with deceptive and false information. But I find it compelling that they’d announce finding a cocooned or cloaked star that unexplainably passes near the massive black hole at the center of the galaxy, which as we know is where the energetic forces emanate from and enlivens the stars and other bodies and all energetically connected aspects in our the milky way.

    We know that the position of the stars and planets directly influences our lives. How much more then do massive energy shifts and pulses coming from the gigantic center of our galaxy?

    There are many ideas about the nature of this energetic change many of us have been feeling some time. David Icke called them truth vibrations decades ago, while it’s recently been termed “Wave X” as well as ascension facilitating energy and many other things having to do with our spiritual growth and empowerment by helping to raise our vibrations and hence conscious awareness.

    The Wave, CERN and Geoengineering

    Certainly hidden science has known about this and other similar phenomena for a long time. That this information becomes available right now is rather prescient just as we see the attempt to put these last pieces of the global takeover into place.

    We know the geoengineering agenda has many purposes. It’s been thought by many that chemtrails are being put in place to block this energetic change from reaching us. It cannot succeed of course but it may hinder some influences, I don’t know. Now think about CERN with a magnetic force 100,000 times stronger than earth’s magnetic field, according to their own website. That’s a lot of power and extremely disruptive, the full use and effects of which we’re yet to see.

    Is one of CERN’s purposes to deliberately tamper with our magnetic field, and is this an attempt to jam these incoming, empowering frequencies? At the least it will alter the very resonance of our planet and everyone on it. One thing we can be sure of, their mad intentions are not for humanity’s benefit.

    Surf’s Up!

    Whatever these energetic changes emanating from the center of our galaxy are, we certainly could use further empowerment and it sure appears Universe is supplying it! But remember, this nor anything else will be some kind of the cavalry coming to our rescue. It’s fully up to each of us individually us to utilize whatever is available to us. This and other influences already at our fingertips won’t do anything by themselves. It’s up to us to activate them in our lives.

    So let’s see what it brings!

    Surfs up! Enjoy the ride and look for the manifestations in your own life and let them unfold.

    Much love, Zen

    from:  http://www.zengardner.com/our-galaxy-awakens/

    California Sinking

    California is sinking: Central parts of state are dropping two inches per month due to pumped-out water

    The Associated Press | August 19, 2015

    This July 23, 2015 photo provided by the California Department of Water Resources shows The Russell Avenue bridge, over the Delta Mendota Canal in Firebaugh, Calif.

    Florence Low/ California Department of Water Resources via AP

    FRESNO, Calif. Vast areas of California’s Central Valley are sinking faster than in the past as massive amounts of groundwater are pumped during the historic drought, NASA said in new research released Wednesday.

    The research shows that in some places the ground is sinking nearly two inches each month, putting infrastructure on the surface at growing risk of damage.

    Sinking land has occurred for decades in California because of excessive groundwater pumping during drought conditions, but the new data shows it is happening faster.

    Mark Cowin, head of the California Department of Water Resources, said the costly damage has occurred to major canals that deliver water up and down the state. In addition, wells are being depleted, he said.

    “Because of increased pumping, groundwater levels are reaching record lows – up to 100 feet lower than previous records,” Cowin said in a statement.

    The report said land near the city of Corcoran sank 13 inches in eight months and part of the California Aqueduct sank eight inches in four months last year.

    Long-term subsidence has already destroyed thousands of public and private groundwater well casings in the San Joaquin Valley. Over time, subsidence can permanently reduce the underground aquifer’s water storage capacity.

    As part of an ongoing effort to respond to the effects of the drought, a task force is working with communities to develop short-term and long-term recommendations to reduce the rate of sinking and address risks to infrastructure.

    “Groundwater acts as a savings account to provide supplies during drought, but the NASA report shows the consequences of excessive withdrawals as we head into the fifth year of historic drought,” Cowin said in his statement. “

    The Department of Water Resources is also launching a $10 million program to help counties with stressed groundwater basins to develop or strengthen local ordinances and conservation plans.

    A record low mountain snowpack has increased pumping of groundwater by farmers and other water users. Scientists used satellite images of the Earth taken over time to measure the sinking land.

    from:    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/california-is-sinking-central-parts-of-state-are-dropping-two-inches-per-month-due-to-pumped-out-water

    DSCOVR Snaps Moon Transit

    YES, THIS IS REAL: NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), on a mission to monitor the solar wind a million miles from Earth, has taken a unique picture of the Earth-Moon system. It shows the farside of the Moon crossing the iconic “blue marble” on July 16th. Click to witness the transit:

    DSCOVR is a partnership between NOAA, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force. The July 16th images were captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope onboard the distant observatory.

    Because the Moon is tidally locked to Earth, only one side is visible from our planet. The unseen farside of the Moon was shrouded in mystery until 1959 when the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft swung around the Moon and photographed it for the first time. DSCOVR will repeat the trick about twice a year as observatory periodically crosses the orbital plane of the Moon.

    Once EPIC begins regular observations next month, NASA will post daily color images of Earth to a dedicated public website. These images, showing different views of the planet as it rotates through the day, will be available 12 to 36 hours after they are acquired. Read the NASA press release for more information.

    from:  spaceweather.com

    Problems w/Pluto Probe

    Something ‘scary’ went wrong with NASA’s probe to Pluto Today, July 6, 2015, UFO Sighting News.

    Date of event: July 4, 2015
    Location of probe: Near Pluto
    News Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/something-scary-went-wrong-nasas-181900139.html

    NASA does something that I have seen many times over the last few decades. Whenever a probe gets close to something that they say they can measure, a plume of water from a moon, a first close up view of a planet or moon, NASA will cut transmission and go covert mode, to insure there are no signs of alien structures or ships in the area. Often times there are. This has even happened to the rover. Faking a shut down is so easy for them to get away with. Who in the public would question NASA about it? See the links below. If you know others that NASA shut down, leave the link below in comments please. SCW

    Mars rover shut down due to short circuit.

    Comet lander shuts down after sending data.

    NASA’s Juno probe unexpectedly shuts down en route to Jupiter.

    NASA shuts down Stardust spacecraft. 

    Kepler spacecraft mission threatened. 

    Autonomous probe shuts down.

    News states:
    On July 4, NASA got an unexpected surprise: Its spacecraft, New Horizons, cut off communications with Earth as it was headed toward Pluto.

    New Horizons is scheduled to fly by Pluto on July 14 and use <“>the seven instruments on board to collect information that will significantly advance the way we understand this tiny, icy world that’s floating in space 4.67 billion miles away.
    However, that goal is now in jeopardy.
    At 1:54 p.m. ET on July 4, something happened that caused New Horizons to cut communications with Earth, NASA reported. Scientists are now trying to figure what that “something” was.
    Fortunately, the agency was able to reestablish a connection with the spacecraft within the next 90 minutes. They reported that the spacecraft is still “healthy” and on course to fly by Pluto.
    That’s the good news.
    The bad news is that in order to reestablish connection, the spacecraft kicked itself into safe mode and is now no longer collecting scientific data. So all of the photos and scientific measurements that scientists have been looking forward to for nearly a decade, since New Horizons launched on January 19, 2006, might never be collected.
    “This is scary,” wrote Emily Lakdawalla for The Planetary Society. “It’s not what the team wanted to be dealing with right now.”
    The main objective now for the New Horizons team is to get the spacecraft back into normal operating mode. Within hours of the reported problem, the team convened a review board that is now “working to return New Horizons to its original [science] flight plan.”
    But that’s going to take longer than anyone would like because of how far away New Horizons is from Earth. And with only nine days until the spacecraft is scheduled to fly by Pluto, the clock is ticking.
    It takes 4.5 hours for the spacecraft to transmit information about what might have happened to it back to Earth. NASA reported that “full recovery is expected to take from one to several days.”

    3 UFO’s Fly Past Earth

    NASA cuts live video transmission as THREE UFOs fly past Earth

    NASA cuts live video transmission as THREE UFOs fly past Earth

    Please scroll down for video

    June 26, 2015 – NASA was reportedly forced to end a live stream from the International Space Station as THREE UFOs blasted out of Earth’s atmosphere.

    <div class=”video-container”>

    This shocking footage is causing quite a stir online.

    Some have already branded the clip definitive PROOF of alien lifeforms.

    The video – which is reportedly shot from the International Space Station – shows three unidentified flying objects blast out of Earth’s atmosphere.

    The lights leave our planet seconds before the live video feed is cut by NASA due to a reported “loss of signal”.

    Live streams from the International Space Station have triggered hundreds of viral videos claiming to show proof of alien crafts.

    Critics claim the alleged UFO sightings on the live feed are simply down to NASA’s poor camera and this latest sighting is, according to the same critics, likely to be a ‘distorted view of the Moon’.

    Inuits Warn ‘Earth has Shifted’

    “Earth has shifted”-Inuit elders issue warning to NASA and the world

    Voltar Ondrusek, Pixdaus

    Inuit elders say the earth has shifted, tilted or as they put it, “wobbled” to the north and they all agree “Their sky has changed!” They say it is becoming increasingly hard to predict the weather, something that is a must in the Arctic.

    The Inuits are indigenous people that inhabit the arctic regions of Canada, the United States and Greenland and throughout history their very lives have been dependent on being able to correctly forecast weather…. and they are warning NASA and the world that global warming isn’t the cause of what we are seeing with extreme weather, earthquakes and other events.

    en.wikipedia.org

    Inuits believe their lives have been affected by a shift. The elders who were interviewed across the north all said the same thing, their sky has changed. The stars, the sun and the moon have all changed affecting the temperature and even affecting the way the wind blows. It is becoming increasingly hard to predict the weather, something that is a must on the Arctic.

    The earth has shifted, tilted or as they put it, “wobbled” to the north and they all agree “Their sky has changed!”

    The elders maintain the Sun doesn’t rise where it used to, they have longer daylight to hunt and the Sun is higher than it used to be and warms up quicker than before. The elders who were interviewed across the north all said the same thing, their sky has changed.

    The stars the Sun and the Moon have all changed affecting the temperature, even affecting the way the wind blows, it is becoming increasingly hard to predict the weather, something that is a must on the Arctic.

    The elders all agree, they believe the Earth has shifted, wobbled or tilted to the North.

    In an article in The Big Wobble Almanac, and in a video, we see some of the extreme weather events being attributed to this “wobble.”

    In the article it states that NASA scientists and experts are “worried” by the information the Inuit Elders are providing for them.

    from:    http://www.newspaper.indianlife.org/story/2015/01/05/news/earth-has-shifted-inuit-elders-issue-warning-to-nasa-and-the-world/582.html

    More on Comet ISON

    COMET ISON ON TRACK TO BECOME ‘IMPRESSIVE’: Amateur astronomers around the world are photographing Comet ISON as it approaches Mars in the predawn sky. The comet is not as bright as some forecasters expected. What does that mean for ISON’s future prospects? The answer may be found below this color photo of the comet obtained by UK astronomer Damian Peach on Sept. 24th:


    Photo details: 17″ CDK with FLI-PL6303e camera. LRGB. L: 5x3mins. RGB: 1x2mins. Sun -18 to -14deg.

    At the moment, Comet ISON is about as bright as a 14th magnitude star, which puts it one or two magnitudes dimmer than forecasts. Nevertheless, according to several experts speaking in a NASA video, Comet ISON is still on track to become an impressive sungrazer. John Bortle predicts ISON will rival Venus during the hours leading up to its closest approach to the Sun in November, while Matthew Knight notes that Comet ISON is brighter than Comet Lovejoy was at the same distance from the sun in 2011. As many readers remember, Comet Lovejoy went on to become a spectacular naked-eye object. Comet ISON might do the same.

    fr/spaceweather.com