October 2013

A Unique View of Comet ISON

This view was recorded by the Heliospheric Imager-1 ("HI-1") instrument on NASA's STEREO-B satellite on October 28, 2013. STEREO is now the 8th spacecraft to have observed comet ISON!

Why does ISON look green?

Comets in the Solar Wind

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) is a dynamically new sungrazing comet. This makes it a particularly unique object that we hope will be a big help in our understanding of Oort Cloud comets and primitive solar system material. Sungrazing comets are pretty useful in this respect, as they get much closer to the Sun that "ordinary" comets, and thus their surface gets much hotter than your typical comet.


Comet ISON is doing just fine!

There has been a lot of speculation brewing over the past few days that C/2012 S1 aka comet ISON may either have already fragmented and fizzled, or is about to do so at any moment. I'm not going to point directly to any sources that are making these claims as I don't think those articles deserve the web traffic. Instead, I'll let you judge for yourselves: does this look like a fizzled out comet?


This post was written by CIOC Chair Casey Lisse, and posted on his behalf by Karl Battams

Upcoming Observations (Oct 4 - 11)

We've had an observing calendar up on this site for a while now but, as you might expect, it's already getting rather crowded with proposed observations. So I thought maybe each week - time allowing - I'll highlight some of the upcoming proposed observations for the next week. So here goes...