Observations of Comet ISON have detected strong carbon dioxide emissions escaping from the comet.


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Call Al Gore! Observations of Comet ISON have detected strong carbon dioxide emissions escaping from the comet.

Images captured June 13 with Spitzer’s Infrared Array Camera indicate carbon dioxide is slowly and steadily “fizzing” away from the so-called “soda-pop comet,” along with dust, in a tail about 186,400 miles (300,000 kilometers) long. “We estimate ISON is emitting about 2.2 million pounds (1 million kilograms) of what is most likely carbon dioxide gas and about 120 million pounds (54.4 million kilograms) of dust every day,” said Carey Lisse, leader of NASA’s Comet ISON Observation Campaign and a senior research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. “Previous observations made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission and Deep Impact spacecraft gave us only upper limits for any gas emission from ISON. Thanks to Spitzer, we now know for sure the comet’s distant activity has been powered by gas.”

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  • In a press conference today, former Presidential candidate Al Gore called for an immediate Congressional investigation into Comet ISON’s CO2 emissions. Citing concern over ‘spacial warming’, Mr. Gore noted that the comet is releasing over two million pounds of CO2 daily.

    “Even as we fight global warming on Earth, and struggle daily against the deniers, we must not forget that our responsibility extends to the heavens, so that our children can enjoy the same cosmos we do. I am calling on Congress to enact legislation that will address comet CO2 emissions in a meaningful way. The threat of spacial warming is real, and we must act now to prevent it.”

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