Have you heard of ISON? If you haven’t, perhaps you haven’t been keeping your eyes upon the stars. ISON is the name given to the comet to have most recently entered our inner solar system. It hails from our solar system’s Oort cloud, a vast mass of bodies that have come together to form…well, basically a big cloud at the edge of our solar system. It’s so far away (4.6 trillion miles, give or take), that passing stars can actually change the orbits of the objects within the cloud. ISON was one of these objects.
ISON was discovered back in September of 2012 by the International Scientific Optical Network – hence the comets nickname, ‘ISON’ – a Russian observatory. While it’s discovery was fairly recent, it’s journey toward the sun has already lasted a million years or so according to scientists. But why get so worked up about a comet that’s actually smaller than most we come across?