View Full Version : Sun-diving comet discovered

26-09-2012, 12:23

BIG SUN-DIVING COMET DISCOVERED: Astronomy forums are buzzing with speculation about newly-discovered Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON). Currently located beyond the orbit of Jupiter, Comet ISON is heading for a very close encounter with the sun next year. In Nov. 2013, it will pass less than 0.012 AU (1.8 million km) from the solar surface. The fierce heating it experiences then could turn the comet into a bright naked-eye object.

Much about this comet--and its ultimate fate--remains unknown. "At this stage we're just throwing darts at the board," says Karl Battams of the NASA-supported Sungrazer Comet Project, who lays out two possibilities:

"In the best case, the comet is big, bright, and skirts the sun next November. It would be extremely bright -- negative magnitudes maybe -- and naked-eye visible for observers in the Northern Hemisphere for at least a couple of months."

"Alternately, comets can and often do fizzle out! Comet Elenin springs to mind as a recent example, but there are more famous examples of comets that got the astronomy community seriously worked up, only to fizzle. This is quite possibly a 'new' comet coming in from the Oort cloud, meaning this could be its first-ever encounter with the Sun. If so, with all those icy volatiles intact and never having been truly stressed (thermally and gravitationally), the comet could well disrupt and dissipate weeks or months before reaching the sun."

"Either of the above scenarios is possible, as is anything in between," Battams says. "There's no doubt that Comet ISON will be closely watched. Because the comet is so far away, however, our knowledge probably won't develop much for at least a few more months."


14-12-2012, 18:36
:fireworks: (Nearest I can find)

Last night I watched the clear sky overhead from midnight to just after 00.30 and saw 16 meteorites end their days. Two of them almost at the same time. First time I've ever made it to see so many... these were the Geminids of course.

14-12-2012, 19:17
I saw Jupiter and the orange glow of betelguise [beetlejuice] earlier in the week,both with the naked eye clear as a bell from my garden!

30-12-2012, 17:02
December 30, 2012 – SPACE - A recently discovered comet that is rapidly approaching the Sun could outshine the Moon in 2013, researchers think. The comet may even be visible in daylight, as the Great Comet of 1680 was. It’s expected to be visible towards the end of the year, roughly from October to the following January. “The recently discovered object, known as comet ISON, is due to fly within 1.2 million miles (1.9 million km) from the center of the sun on Nov. 28, 2013 said astronomer Donald Yeomans, head of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

As the comet approaches, heat from the sun will vaporize ices in its body, creating what could be a spectacular tail that is visible in Earth’s night sky without telescopes or even binoculars from about October 2013 through January 2014.” With such a bright object in the night sky during the latter part of the year, it may somewhat drown out what will otherwise be a spectacular year of meteor showers in 2013. The comet will need to survive its approach to the Sun though, for that to happen. And it’s possible that the comet could disintegrate as it gets close to the Sun. Interestingly, comet ISON is following a very similar path to the famous comet of 1680, which was bright enough to be visible in the middle of the day. It is following such a similar orbit that researchers theorize that they may both originate from the same fragmented parent body.

“Comet ISON could be the brightest comet seen in many generations – brighter even than the full moon,” wrote British astronomer David Whitehouse. “In 2013, Earth has two shots at a comet show. Comet Pan-STARRS is due to pass by the planet in March, eight months before ISON’s arrival. The last comet to dazzle Earth’s night-time skies was Comet Hale-Bopp, which visited in 1997. Comet 17P/Holmes made a brief appearance in 2007. (excerpt) www.planetsave.com/

30-12-2012, 18:50
There was also another very bright comet in the early seventies I remember as a young guy, Bennett`s Comet.
I also have seen the same article you refer to regarding your presentation of the forthcoming objects; I hope it transpires that they are as bright as forecast to be.

12-11-2013, 01:52
Has anyone seen this comet yet?

13-11-2013, 16:54
Has anyone seen this comet yet?

Heres latest picture


13-11-2013, 17:07
Did you take that? When can we see it?