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The brightest comet of the 21st century – ISON. Ask the discoverer questions.

Artyom Novichonok interview

It might seem that no more mysteries remain in the night sky nowadays, and the astronomical discovery age has long passed. Hundreds of observatories with thousands of telescopes scan the depths of space around the clock, gathering information; powerful computers process and analyze terabytes of collected data. Grand discoveries are reduced to a few lines of text, with all the thrill of the hunt gone forever. However, our guest today, amateur astronomer Artyom Novichonok, has recently proven otherwise.

In 2011, Artyom and his colleague, Vladimir Gerke, discovered the P/2011 R3 (Novichonok-Gerke) comet. For this discovery, they were awarded a prestigious Edgar Wilson Award by Cambridge University. However, Artyom did not stop there – he continued his search and was rewarded in 2012, when he made a truly astonishing discovery. What he discovered was the C/2012 S1 (ISON) comet, which will be the brightest comet of the first half of the 21st century. In fact, soon the comet will be so bright that you will be able to observe it during the day with the naked eye.


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