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Cosmic Fest scheduled at Westminster library

Comet ISON, as captured by Monkton astrophographer Mike Hankey using a 60-second exposure and in RGB color space.
Comet ISON, as captured by Monkton astrophographer Mike Hankey using a 60-second exposure and in RGB color space. (Courtesy of Mike Hankey)

Viewing Comet Ison had been described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the Westminster Branch Library was prepared to host a 5 am "Cosmic Fest" Thursday to view the much anticipated comet.

But Comet Ison didn't survive a recent encounter with the sun, according to NASA, leaving potential viewers dissappointed.

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Undeterred, the library is still hosting its Cosmic Fest at 5 am Thursday and also a Wednesday program at 6:30 pm to discuss what exactly is a comet and what makes them unique.

"We're going to have a rest in peace party for Comet Ison," joked Skip Guld, treasurer and outreach director of the Westminster Astronomy Club.

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Although Comet Ison is no more, Guld said Jupiter and four comets should still be visible Thursday morning, including Comet Lovejoy, which is brighter and easier to see than Ison would have been.

Now that Ison is history, Guld said its an appropriate time to discuss what happened to Ison and why it no longer exists.

For more information on either event, contact the Westminster library at 410-386-4490.

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