Home > Cosmic Craziness > Comet ISON Set To Become Brilliant Spectacle … If It Survives Today’s Close Encounter With The Sun

Comet ISON Set To Become Brilliant Spectacle … If It Survives Today’s Close Encounter With The Sun

Update: Sun-grazing comet ISON likely broke up, scientists say …

Update 2Scientists baffled by new picures of Comet ISON …

By Joe Rao, FOX News – “The incoming Comet ISON is now in the home stretch of its long-awaited hairpin loop around the sun on Thanksgiving Day, making it a great target for amateur astronomers and stargazers. But there are some tips and info you’ll want to keep in mind before you go comet hunting.

Comet ISON is on track for an extremely close shave of the sun when it flies by Earth’s closest star on Nov. 28. The comet will approach within a mere 730,000 miles of the sun during the encounter, leading many scientists and amateur astronomers to wonder if the comet will survive its Thanksgiving Day rendezvous with the sun.

In December, Comet ISON is expected to reach its greatest brilliance. It is during that month that it will be most interesting to both amateurs and the public. [See more amazing photos of Comet ISON in the night sky]

Although forecasting the brightness of a comet months before its arrival at perihelion has always been hazardous, in the case of ISON until recently its brightening trend has been very difficult to decipher. Up until Nov. 13, the comet’s increase in brightness was progressing at a rather sluggish pace, but then suddenly a noticeable outburst began taking place...

From Nov. 13 to 21, Comet ISON brightened by 3.5 magnitudes on the scale used to determine the brightness of objects in space. That’s a 25-fold increase in brightness to the observer! Between Nov. 19 and 21 alone, ISON more than doubled in brightness. Along with this surge in activity, soaring rates of dust and gas were being released from its nucleus.

Amateur and professional astronomers around the world have been tracking Comet ISON in telescopes, with NASA spacecraft and other observatories tracking the object from space.

In the wake of this recent activity, experienced comet watchers are growing more confident that the comet has a chance to be ranked among one of the brightest in the last half century. ‘All this I regard as very promising for something quite significant to be seen from ISON come the early days of December,’ comet expert John Bortle said. [How to Photograph Comet ISON (Step-by-Step Gallery)]

In fact, at its very brightest Comet ISON may even become briefly visible in broad daylight!” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness
  1. 11/28/2013 at 3:51 PM

    “WHAT?” No more “DOOMSDAY” reporting?


  2. 11/29/2013 at 5:33 AM

    Hi bobby,
    There will be signs in the heavens,and on the earth distress of nations. Keep looking up my friend.


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