By Laurel Bennett
LAKEWOOD – Comet ISON is “passing through” our earthly neighborhood, and you can learn how to spot it on Friday, Dec. 6, during Comet Day at Pierce College’s Science Dome.
The free event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on the Fort Steilacoom campus in the Rainier building, second floor. Pierce students will present family-friendly, hands-on science activities and science dome shows for people to learn more about comets — including tips on how to spot comet ISON in the morning sky.
ISON is a giant ball of ice and rock discovered last fall by two Russian scientists using the 16-inch reflecting telescope of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON). The comet is hurtling toward the sun from the outer solar system, and as it passes the sun, its fate is unpredictable. The warmth from the sun could break it up into disappearing pieces or cause it to shine bright enough to be seen during the day.
Hands-on science at Comet Day includes The Ever-Expanding Universe; Walking on Water; Telescopes; Making Slime; Edible Comets; Fire, Ice and Asteroids; Comets: A tale of two tails; Making Craters; and It’s a Beautiful Moment… of Momentum.
And planetarium shows (reserved seating suggested):
· 5 p.m. — Cool Comets
· 5:20 p.m. — Breaking the Speed of Sound on Land
· 5:50 p.m. — Comet ISON: A message from the Oort cloud
· 6:30 p.m. — Cool Comets
· 6:50 p.m. — Breaking the Speed of Sound on Land
· 7:20 p.m. — Comet ISON: A message from the Oort cloud
· 8 p.m. — Première of Back to the Moon for Good, with narrator Tim Allen