C/2012 S1 (ISON) is a sungrazing comet discovered on 21 September 2012 by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok. The comet will come to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 28 November 2013 at a distance of 0.012 AU (1,800,000 km; 1,100,000 mi) from the center point of the Sun.
Between 5 June and 29 August 2013, comet ISON will have an elongation less than 30 degrees from the Sun. The Spitzer Space Telescope may observe the comet on June 13 and help estimate carbon dioxide production. Around September 2013, it should become bright enough to be visible through small telescopes or binoculars. But the comet is not expected to reach the naked eye magnitude of 6 until November.Assuming it survives perihelion passage, it should be visible to the naked eye until early January 2014.
In October, the comet will pass through the constellation Leo, passing near Leo’s brightest star Regulus and then passing near Mars in the night sky, and these brighter objects might make the comet easier to locate. STEREO should be able to view ISON around 10 October. In November, when the comet is brighter, it will sweep past another bright star in our sky, Spica in the constellation Virgo, and another planet, Saturn. SOHO will be able to view ISON starting 27 November. Around the time the comet reaches its perihelion on 28 November, it may become extremely bright if it remains intact, probably reaching a negative magnitude. It may briefly become brighter than the full Moon.
It is expected to be brightest around the time it is closest to the Sun; however, it may be less than 1° from the Sun at its closest, making it difficult to see against the Sun’s glare. In December, the comet will be growing dimmer, but, assuming that it remains intact, it will be visible from both hemispheres of Earth, possibly with a long tail.
After a Killing in the Bronx, a Sentence to Wait -
They brought him into the Bronx courtroom late on that first day of the trial, his prisoner’s chains jingling.
But Chad Hooks, 23 years old and charged with murder, was used to waiting. He had been waiting for three years, seven months and three days at Rikers Island for a trial that never seemed to come.
“I hear the same excuse every time: ‘Not ready,’ or, ‘We’re doing something that’s more important,’ ” he had said at the jail. “I feel like I’ll die here.”
Melissa Lawyer had waited, too. Mr. Hooks was charged with shooting to death her 21-year-old son, Jevon, in a hallway on Southern Boulevard near Hunts Point Avenue in the Bronx. For nearly four years, her hopes for justice had been choked by gnawing worry.
She had had nightmares in which Mr. Hooks was chasing her. She said it meant he would get away with murder.
This little-noticed case at the Bronx County Hall of Justice became a parable of the way delays infect trials with murkiness, mocking the very idea that courts do their best, when it matters most, to find out what really happened.
As the years passed, memories turned hazy. Detectives retired. One witness recanted. Two were lost and then found again. By the time the prosecutors said they were ready for trial on a September day in 2012, a fourth witness — the star witness — had been shot to death in the Bronx. What were left were contradicting claims and missing answers.
The defense said Mr. Hooks was an innocent man who had been tormented to the point of ruin by his wait for justice. The prosecution suggested he was a wily killer using the passage of time to silence the witnesses against him.
In other parts of the country, this case might be old enough to raise questions about whether the Constitution’s promise of a speedy trial had any meaning at all. But this was far from the oldest case in the Bronx, where court delays have compounded for decades, mounting a crisis severe enough to challenge the basic notion of justice.
But now, finally, in that courtroom on 161st Street, the assistant district attorney, April Cohen, rose. There was an expectant rustle in the mostly empty courtroom.
Chad Hooks’s mother listened on one side. Jevon Lawyer’s mother on the other.
The prosecutor’s first words, however, were not about the killing of Mr. Lawyer. They were a request for days off. She had three scheduled. And then she would need a day when her nephew was born and then a day to celebrate the birth.
The judge said he was confused about why a trial had to be put off because someone else was having a baby. “Maybe I’m missing something?” he asked, though eventually the prosecutor ended up getting the time off.
That first day of the trial was the 1,311th day of waiting for Mr. Hooks’s day in court.
Family at Mandela’s bedside
Family members of former South African president Nelson Mandela spent yesterday at his hospital bedside while a watching public waited anxiously for updates on the state of the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s health.
Mr Mandela, who will be 95 on July 18th next, was admitted to hospital in Pretoria at 1.30am on Saturday with a recurrence of a lung infection that has landed him in hospital four times since December.
A short statement released by the South African presidency on Saturday morning regarding Mr Mandela’s state of health described him as “stable” but in a serious condition.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said later in the day that doctors were doing everything they could to make Mr Mandela “better and comfortable”.
South Africa’s first democratic elected president has a long history of lung problems that date back to his time as a prisoner on Robben Island.
“What I am told by doctors is that he is breathing on his own and I think that is a positive sign,” Mr Maharaj said. “Madiba [Mr Mandela’s clan name] is a fighter and, at his age, as long as he is fighting he will be fine.”
Mr Mandela’s family members were seen coming and going from a military hospital in Pretoria where he is thought to be staying. His wife, Graca Machel, remains at his bedside.
Active-RVA just obtained a donation button. Click here to see what projects we’re planning that require funds.OngoingThe Rag & Bones Bicycle Cooperative is seeking female bicycle mechanics, or women who want to be bicycle mechanics.Supporting Prisoners and Acting for Radical Change is looking for insured Richmond residents over 25 to rent vehicles.Active-RVA is trying to make contact with the San Francisco Collective that runs Safe2Pee (the Bathroom Liberation Front / Genderqueer Hackers)Monday 6/106-9pm: Richmond City Council Formal Meeting6:30-8:30pm: Postpartum 101, from Richmond DoulasTuesday 6/11On this day in 1971, the United States forcibly removed the last Native occupiers of Alcatraz Island, ending the 19 month occupation.3:30-7pm: Byrd Farmer’s Market6:30-8:30pm: LGBTQ Youth Support GroupWednesday 6/1210-11pm: Women-Only Bike RideThursday 6/136:30-8pm: Transgender Youth Support GroupFriday 6/14Saturday 6/159-11am: Richmond Clinic Defense12-6pm: Vegetarian FestivalSunday 6/1612:30-5pm: Richmond Food Not Bombs
Rag & Bones Bicycle Cooperative seeks female mechanics, or women who wish to become mechanics. -
A message from the Rag & Bones Bike Co-op:
“Wishing we had another day of open hours? We are actively seeking female mechanics (trained or willing to learn) to help run a ladies’/queer night on Sundays or Thursdays. If interested please come by the shop during our regular hours, or call or message us!”
(via Floyd, a Street Cyclists Can Call their Own | Bacon’s Rebellion)