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Comet ISON Image of the Week
Eyes in the Sky (July 8, 2013)
C/2012 S1 (ISON) images recorded by the NASA EPOXI satellite in January 2013. EPOXI will have more opportunities to observe the comet throughout this year.
Opposite is one of the very earliest space-based images recorded of Comet ISON, taken by NASA's EPOXI mission on January 17th, 2013. The EPOXI mission is what's left of the rather awesome Deep Impact mission which intentionally crashed an impactor into comet Tempel-1 almost exactly 8-years ago, on July 4th 2005. Since then, EPOXI has gone on to study comet Hartley 2, performing a close fly-by in 2010, and now continues to cruise through space looking for attractive targets to image.
Indeed, by design EPOXI is well-equipped to image comets, and with its current location in space, far from Earth, it was an easy decision for the mission team to take these images of Comet ISON in January! While not nearly as spectacular as EPOXI's images of Comet Hartley 2, these very early Comet ISON observations gave us important information about the activity level of Comet ISON, which is very active for a comet at such a great distance from Sun (one of the reasons we're so excited about it!). Throughout the year, as Comet ISON gets closer to us, there are plans to make more observations with EPOXI and take advantage of its unique location in space. We will certainly keep you up to date on those observations as and when they happen.
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 email@example.com, 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!