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Comets topic of show at WKU’s Hardin Planetarium Dec. 1-Jan. 5

Comets: Icy Interlopers Interacting with the Sun will be presented Dec. 1 through Jan. 5 at WKU’s Hardin Planetarium. Show times are 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

"Comets: Icy Interlopers Interacting with the Sun" will be presented at WKU's Hardin Planetarium Dec. 1-Jan. 5.

“Comets: Icy Interlopers Interacting with the Sun” will be presented at WKU’s Hardin Planetarium Dec. 1-Jan. 5.

About the show: Comet ISON is a 3-mile wide chunk of dirty ice. Decades ago it was orbiting the Sun in the remotest boondocks of the solar system, well beyond Neptune and Pluto, when some other object passed near and gravity nudged comet ISON into a new orbit moving toward the Sun. Thawing as it approaches the Sun, this frozen interloper has been shedding hundreds of thousands of pounds of dust and gas every minute. Ejected material stretches behind the orbit and reflects sunlight, creating the comet’s tail.

Just a few comets in the last generation have developed exceptionally long tails stretching across the sky. On Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28), comet ISON will be moving more than 225,000 mph as its orbit takes it within a million miles above the Sun’s incandescent surface. A few days later, when it has moved enough away from the Sun to be viewed from Kentucky, comet ISON could be spectacular to behold. It isn’t possible to predict exactly how bright comet ISON will become, nor how big its tail will be; however, it has the potential to be an amazing sight in the pre-dawn sky throughout December 2013.

The 40-minute show is free and suitable for all ages with time for questions at the end of the show. Note: There will be no shows on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.

Show times and dates are:

  • Sunday            Dec. 1              2 p.m.
  • Tuesday          Dec. 3              7 p.m.
  • Thursday        Dec. 5              7 p.m.
  • Sunday            Dec. 8              2 p.m.
  • Tuesday          Dec. 10            7 p.m.
  • Thursday        Dec. 12            7 p.m.
  • Sunday            Dec. 15            2 p.m.
  • Tuesday          Dec. 17            7 p.m.
  • Thursday        Dec. 19            7 p.m.
  • Sunday            Dec. 22            2 p.m.
  • Thursday        Dec. 26            7 p.m.
  • Sunday            Dec. 29            2 p.m.
  • Thursday        Jan. 2               7 p.m.
  • Sunday            Jan. 5               2 p.m.

(Note: No shows on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve)

Contact: Ronn Kistler, (270) 745-4044.

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