Friday, November 15, 2013

Comet ISON brightens overnight with an 'outburst'

I woke up to news that Comet ISON has suddenly got brighter. So where is Comet ISON right now?

Image captured from Solar System Scope

As you can see, ISON is heading towards the sun in the trajectory shown above. It's now possible to see Comet ISON just by looking up in the night sky. It would be even easier using a pair of binoculars. On the 28th of November Comet ISON will reach the sun, go around and come back towards Earth where it will reach its closest point to the Earth on the 26th of December, 2013. is reporting that Comet ISON is getting hotter, because its getting closer to the sun. This is why ISON is getting brighter.

Amateur Astronomer Bruce Gary has captured the following images of Comet ISON since the outburst occurred.

True color image of Comet ISON on Nov 14, 11:33 to 12:59 UT, from Bruce Gary's 11-inch telescope 20-second exposures with B-, V- and r'-band filters (N=39, 34, 29). FOV = 32x 22 'arc (left imag).

This animation consists of 7 images, each a 3-image median combine stack, all with a r' filter, from 11:43 to 12:53 UT, Nov 14, made by Bruce Gary using a Celestron 11-inch telescope. Filamentary structure can be seen moving away from the sun at high speed. The motion of jets that can be seen first on the side is backwards and toward the center of the tail; this must be cause by the pattern of solar wind enveloping the coma and coming back together on the back side (just my amateur speculation). The presence of many jet-like structures in the outer coma and tail show that there are many sources for gas-driven dust on the nucleus surface. (The coma isn't changing size; it just appears that way due to the contrast/brightness adjustments that were needed to keep the tail looking the same.)

There is a story below about staff at Japanese broadcoaster NHK, who attached a hi-vision camera and a single lens reflex to a telescope at an observatory in western Japan. They were able to capture Comet ISON live as it approaches the Sun. There is a short video within the article showing this footage.


Wherami said...

Its very pretty

Laron said...

I think those are the best shots taken so far, even better than the latest on spaceweather.

Linda said...

LOL That's how I felt yesterday - lit up like a light bulb at warp speed!!! Lot to be said for 'normal' is lovely, and these are pretty pics, Whereami :)