Comet ISON will sweep closely past Mars on Thanksgiving Day. The time when Comet ISON will fly by Mars, it’ll have just crossed the “frost line,” a place outside Mars’ orbit where solar heating is enough to start vaporizing ices on ISON’s surface.
Astronomers around the world are vibrant with the expectation over the approach of Comet ISON. On 1 Oct 2013, the icy visitor from the outer solar system will flick through the sun’s outer atmosphere.
Statement made was that, if it survives its flip through the sun, Comet ISON might come out to be one of the brightest comets in years.
Even though the prognosis for an extremely bright comet are not as good now as they look like at ISON’s discovery in late 2012, but still astronomers are foreseeing this comet.
Comet ISON will bend close to Mars, before most of us on Earth see it. On the Thanksgiving Day the comet will pass within 0.07 AU from Mars which is about six times closer than it will ever come on Earth.
Depending on how the ISON brightens between now and the time it crosses sun, we can say whether Curiosity will be able to see the comet from the surface of Mars or not.
Mars rovers and satellites will get a close-view. The planned dates for the observation are August 20th, Sept 29th, and Oct 1st and 2nd.
The ISON comet can survive its Thanksgiving Day brush with the sun and turn into one of the most spectacular comets in many years only if its nucleus is much bigger than 0.5 km.