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Comet ISON Image of the Week
Where it all began... (July 1, 2013)
Within a couple of days of Novichonok and Nevski reporting this find, other observatories had successfully located the comet, which was currently at an extremely faint magnitude 18. Further to this, Comet ISON was subsequently located in images taken several months prior in archived data taken by the Mount Lemmon Survey and Pan-STARRS programs. This is known as "pre-covery" and is quite common. Very faint comets can be hard to spot unless you know exactly where in your data to look, and so many of these sky survey programs take large numbers of images for which there are simply not enough man-hours to individually scour in great detail.
By September 24, 2012, Comet ISON had received an official designation of C/2012 S1 (ISON), and a preliminary orbit determination that classified it as a Sungrazing Comet, bringing it to within about 1.1-million miles of the Sun on November 28, 2013.
Every week this year we will put up a new image related to Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON). If you have a cool image you'd like us to consider, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a description and any credits you would want applied. We'll contact you if we choose to use your image on the CIOC Website.
See our ISON Image of the Week Archives for earlier picks!