8 Dec 2020 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

OFNC Monthly Meeting (Digital)

Presenter: Howard Simkover

Location: Zoom!

For many thousands of years, humans have gazed up in wonder at the night sky. They saw the sun and the moon, five planets, thousands of stars, and also strange “long haired stars” that appeared unexpectedly, and wandered slowly against the background of the stars. These wanderers with luminous tails are comets – city-sized chunks of ice, dust, rocks, and frozen gas left over from the formation of our solar system more than 5 billion years ago. Early societies feared these celestial apparitions. Comets were viewed as sinister omens, which foreshadowed deeply disturbing events – famines, civil unrest, wars, plagues, or the death of the king or queen. Many of us may remember the spectacular Comet Hale-Bopp, which illuminated our skies in April 1997. Just a few months ago, Comet NEOWISE provided a beautiful celestial “show”in July 2020. Perhaps the most famous comet of them all is the one named after Edmond Halley. Comet Halley flashed through the inner solar system in 1986, and will return to us again in 2061. In July 1994, multiple fragments of a comet struck the planet Jupiter. And in 2014, the European Space Agency landed a spacecraft the size of a washing machine on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Howard Simkover, who produced shows for Montreal’s Dow Planetarium, will share his experiences and knowledge of comets in this highly visual presentation.

Registration: To register for this event and to get your Zoom link, write to Jakob at:

jakobdmueller [at] outlook.com