Nicola here. As a star features strongly in the nativity story it felt quite Christmassy to be talking about celestial bodies today. I love stargazing. Every night when I take Angus out for his bedtime walk I stand in the field at the bottom of the road and look up at the night sky. Most nights it’s cloudy, the British weather being what it is, but on maybe one night in five I can see the Milky Way stretching overhead like a ribbon dusted with diamonds. Seeing it is a magical experience.
At the end of November we were told that one of the greatest celestial spectacles of the century was on the way, the arrival of Comet Ison. Ison was a sungrazing comet, originating from the fabulously named Oort Cloud out on the furthest edges of our galaxy. It was scheduled to pass so close to the sun that it would “graze” it’s surface. It was then supposed to develop a huge tail that would be visible in the night sky with the naked eye, making it one of the most spectacular astronomical sights of the century. Unfortunately Ison flew too close to the sun. It was too small to survive the experience and instead of blazing a trail across the sky, it disintegrated.