This is shaping up to be a very busy year for celestial events. This year has seen the expected close call from a passing asteroid with the unplanned meteor explosion over Russia, injuring thousands. The meteor certainly peaks some interest in many who formerly did not concern themselves with the possibility, or probability of Earth impacts during our lifetime. See prior post of Feb 16, 2013, Close call documented. Meteor explodes over Russia.
First up is comet Pan-STARRS, which will possibly come into our view beginning March 7. It will stay close to the horizon, so you'll need to get away from trees and buildings to see it
Comet ISON will pass by this year, but scientist is skeptical of "Comet of Century" predictions.
See CNN online: Welcome to the year of the comet (we hope), by Amanda Barnett, CNN, posted Sat March 2,2013.
More information can also be found at space.com. where you can already find video and photos posted online of comet ISON: NASA Probe Snaps Photos of Potential 'Comet of the Century'
Comets are part of our solar system, leftovers from the original creation. Modern astronomers have determined that comets originate from three areas: near Jupiter; the Kuiper belt which is bounded by the orbit of Neptune; or from a surrounding sphere called the Oort Cloud.
Don’t forget, we are blessed with the Southern Cross Astronomical Society (SCAS) Star Gazing - Every Saturday evening from 8 to 10 pm at Miami-Dade County’s Sadowski Park, celestial observing at the free SCAS outdoor observatory where the public is welcome.
This is a great year to get interested in our night sky. It is a great family activity. Enjoy nature's night viewing over the next few months