Two potential ‘Great Comets’ will traverse northern hemisphere skies in 2013.
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For professional astronomers, amateur stargazers, and anyone who has ever been captivated by a particularly bright shooting star, 2013 is shaping up to be one for the record books.
Two separate incoming objects have the potential to become so-called ‘Great Comets’ this year, a phenomenon that tends to occur only once per decade. Comet Pan-STARRS will cross the skies of the northern hemisphere in mid-March, and Comet ISON in late November. Many astronomers expect ISON to outshine 1997’s Hale-Bopp, and some say it could even become the brightest and grandest of all ‘Great Comets’ in history.