11.29.2013

Some Part of Comet Ison survived!

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Comet ISON flew through the sun's atmosphere on Nov. 28th and the encounter did not go well for the icy comet. Just before perihelion (closest approach to the sun) the comet rapidly faded and appeared to disintegrate. This prompted reports of ISON's demise. However, a fraction of the comet has survived.

Comet ISON seems to be falling apart as it approaches the sun. Indeed, researchers working with NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory said they saw nothing along the track that ISON was expected to follow through the sun's atmosphere. Nevertheless, something has emerged.

Whether this is a small scorched fragment of Comet ISON's nucleus or perhaps a "headless comet"--a stream of debris marking the remains of the comet's disintegrated core--remains to be seen. 

11.28.2013

Comet Ison did not Survive !

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Evidence is mounting that comet ISON did not survive its brush with the sun earlier today. Nov. 28th, Thanksgiving Day in the USA, the comet was supposed to pass a little more than a million miles above the surface of the sun. As themovie from SOHO shows, the comet had already disintegrated. Click to set the scene in motion, and pay careful attention to the head of the comet.

In the movie, Comet ISON is clearly falling apart as it approaches the sun. Researchers working with the Solar Dynamics Observatory report that they are saw nothing along the track that ISON was expected to follow through the sun's atmosphere.

The movie spans a day and a half period from Nov. 27th (01:41 UT) to 28th (15:22 UT). We see that Comet ISON brightened dramatically on Nov. 27th before fading on Nov. 28th. That brightening might have been the disintegration event, in which the comet cracked open and spilled its vaporizing contents into space.




There is still a slight chance that some fraction of Comet ISON has survived.

11.23.2013

Comet ISON Still Intact


Comet ISON appeared in the higher-resolution HI-1 camera on NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft. Dark "clouds" coming from the right are more dense areas in the solar wind, causing ripples in Comet Encke's tail. Using comet tails as tracers can provide valuable data about solar wind conditions near the sun.
Image Credit: 
Karl Battams/NASA/STEREO/CIOC

Comet ISON entered the field of view of the HI-1 camera on NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, on Nov. 21, 2013, and the comet shows up clearly, appearing to still be intact.