As Mark Twain once said, “the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated”! Comet ISON has survived it’s brush with Ole Sol and is headed our way at over 700,000 KPH. Many reported that ISON did NOT survive perihelion. Boy were they wrong. Take a look:
Comet ISON is now zipping along at over 400,000 KPH and is now about 12.7 Million miles from the sun. It’s counterpart, comet ENKE, which we haven’t spoke much of is closer to the sun and is supposedly larger than ISON, but I have to question those estimates, as ISON looks larger than ENKE.
However, the energetic exchanges we suspected would occur between the comet and the sun are strongly evident and we expect the show to get even more spectacular as these comets both converge on their respective perihelion points with Ole Sol within the next few days.
Currently ISON is 17 Million Miles from the sun. It is not visible on any telescope because of the brightness of the sun makes such optical visualizations not possible. However, the solar H1 Stereo ahead satellite has captured an image of ISON as seen below. ISON is traveling at nearly 350,000 KPH.
ISON appears to be still intact, but it is not possible to verify that. ISON could be fragmented with the fragments still close together. We are now less than three days from perihelion (Ison’s swing around the sun). It appears that ISON is NOT sun-diving, so we can expect a spectacular show. Starting tomorrow you can monitor ISON’s progress at Solar Ham by looking at more images and watching the H1 images. We can also expect energetic exchanges between ISON and the solar surface (flares caused by the magnetic disturbance of the fly-by).
Comet Ison is now just 35 million miles from perihelion, which occurs in six days. Ison is now traveling at nearly 240,000 KPH and has brightened to V-mag ~ 3.7, so comet is still brightening, but at a slower pace than during previous 2 days. Coma structure still “rich,” with “wing jets” prominent in a simple spatial enhanced image, as shown below.
These will probably be the last images we will see until Ison achieves perihelion (its swing around the sun). If Ison survives that swing we will begin to see very bright images of Ison around December 5, when Ison will be visible about 6 degrees above the horizon early in the morning, while the sun will be -10 degrees below the horizon.
Comet Ison continues its march to the sun unabated. In fact Ison has passed the last Redline. It appears that Ison has survived them all. What is the redline, you ask? Redlines are where previous comets disintegrated as they marched to the sun. Ison is now being strongly buffeted by the sun’s solar winds and radiation and heated now by it’s closeness to the sun. This picture taken yesterday shows just how long Ison’s tail has become. The tail is now equivalent to 22,000 times the distance between the Earth and the moon!.
Ison has accelerated to 210,000 KPH and now is only 45,700,000 miles from the sun and STILL appears to be intact. Thanks to Kosmas Gazeas for this wonderful shot from today.
We are not absolutely certain that Ison remains totally intact, but from all appearances it remains very organizied and bright. It’s coma is now equal to 22 earths across its widest point! Unfortunately for now though, for us here in the western hemisphere, Ison, although visible to the naked eye, will be difficult to see because Ison will be rising during daylight hours.
Information is coming in so fast on Ison that it is difficult to keep up. Here is the latest look at a color spectrum view of the coma, which taken on 17 November reveals Ison’s complex Structure.
We will keep posting updates for our friends and we will all watch and see if Ison makes it through it’s dosey-doe with Ole Sol and emerges on the other side around the 28th or 29th of November.
This comet is beginning to live up to its hype. Now traveling at about 203,000 KPH and within 50 million miles of the sun, comet Ison is really spectacular. Interestingly not much from the “expert” sites, but amateur/professional sky watchers such as Damien Peach in the UK are giving us spectacular views of Ison like the one below for today: