August 2013

Why couldn't NASA recover Comet ISON?

Over the past couple of weeks since we announced that Comet ISON had been recovered by amateur astronomer Bruce Gary, I have received a disproportionate number of emails, tweets and questions along these lines:
Why did it take an amateur astronomer to recover Comet ISON? Why didn't NASA do it? You have billions of dollars of telescopes! You even have Hubble!! Why aren't YOU doing this??!

Why I’m *still* not worried about ISON’s brightness

As you have probably heard, Comet ISON was recovered last week as it emerged from solar conjunction. This was big news because it was the first time ISON had been observed since June and there has been a lot of speculation about how bright it would be. So how bright is ISON now? About what we expected it to be!

Sun-grazers, Sun-strikers and CMEs

Lately I have been rather tied up with Comet ISON, but when I'm not doing that, about a third of my time is spent administering the NASA-funded Sungrazing Comets, or Sungrazer, project. For those that aren't familiar, the Sungrazer Project is a citizen science program that enables volunteer astronomy enthusiasts from around the world to look for, report, and hopefully discover previously unknown comets in the images recorded by the ESA/NASA SOHO and NASA STEREO satellites.

An Amateur Star Geezer’s Account of His Comet ISON Recovery Imaging

Guest blog post by Bruce Gary, 2013.08.14, 18.0 UT
Trying to recover Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) was the last thing on my mind when our local astronomy club member, Doug Snyder, asked local amateurs to join his project in trying to be the first to recover the comet. I like challenges, even though I’d never observed a comet with any scientific goal before. Since Doug has a comet discovery in his resume I assumed his challenge might be feasible, so I signed up.

Comet ISON: Recovered!

[Please note: this article was submitted AUGUST 12, 2013... not December 8, 2013. I realize the above mm/dd/yy date format is confusing to those that use the dd/mm/yy format. Sorry!]

Well this is rather exciting news: Comet ISON lives on! (we think...)

Comet ISON, as seen by Spitzer

[Note: this blog entry was written by Dr. Casey Lisse and posted on his behalf by Karl Battams.]

Why I’m not particularly worried about ISON’s brightness

Comet ISON is currently hiding behind the Sun and, with no observations of it since early June, there has been a fair bit of speculation recently about what it has been doing. Unfortunately, much of this has been has been of the negative variety, and I’d like to address it clearly here.

It’s premature to write ISON off.