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Top 5 comet breakups in History

19 Nov 2013, 01:33 UTC
Top 5 comet breakups in History
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When comets breakup it can be an emotional time for Astronomers, amateur and professional alike. Though not like a breakup with a significant other, we get our hopes up that the next comet will be a comet of the century. We do this because comets are very unpredictable, and any given close approach to Earth could be spectacular….or terrible.
Comet ISON is about to pass behind the sun on November 28th, and could potentially break into pieces from the sun’s incredible tidal forces. In honour of a new potential breakup, here are the top 5 comet breakups in history:
#5 Comet Holmes
17P/Holmes was a periodic comet originally discovered by astronomer Edwin Holmes in 1892. Normally a quiet and regular comet, it became famous in October 2007 when it exploded, increasing its brightness by a factor of a half million (from Mag 17 to Mag 2.8), the largest comet outburst ever recorded. In addition, it temporarily became the largest object in the solar system, surpassing the SUN! Though it still had a tiny mass and eventually dissipated.
#4 Comet LINEAR
C/ 2012 X1 LINEAR is the newest addition to make the list. Trailing ISON by only 3 months, set to ...

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