#ISON or #ISOFF

(I want to apologise for the horrific pun I used in the title, I couldn’t help myself!) I was originally going to edit the previous blog post I put up after the NASA hangout last night, but it would appear that news regarding comet ISON has moved far too fast for me to be able to recount it all (so much so that it has prompted ISON to be nicknamed Schrodinger’s Comet). So instead, I thought I’d bring you the most up to date information I could find.

So it would appear that something has survived the treacherous journey through the Sun and is currently growing in brightness again. The verdict is still ambiguous over whether we will be presented with the highly anticipated light show we were promised only hours ago. There is a chance that what ever is left will not be a high enough magnitude comet to be visible in the night sky without observing equipment. I am still holding out hope! (Mainly because I can’t afford to go out and buy a telescope!)

It is important to note that this is still being hotly debated by the scientists charged with studying this event- until they issue a statement of certainty over ISON’s fate, we can’t be sure whether what we are now seeing is significant. It’s also quite important to recognise that this is an area of science that changes with every observation of a comet made. So, go easy on the scientists- they’ll have an answer for you soon enough, but they need time to go through those images and hypothesize how ISON could enter the Sun and  now be acting as it is. At any rate, stay tuned!

A spectacular GIF showing the LASCO C2 footage of ISON's approach and emergence from the Sun... If the GIF works that is... Images Courtesy of NASA/ESA

A spectacular GIF showing the LASCO C2 footage of ISON’s approach and emergence from the Sun… If the GIF works that is… Images Courtesy of NASA/ESA

Here’s a small collection of the most up to date information out there at the moment:

LASCO C3 Footage – courtesy of ESA/NASA

http://www.cometison2013.co.uk/

http://www.nasa.gov/ison/#.UpiBvMTIa_k

At the moment, the SOHO website appears to have crashed (You’re all obviously just too eager!), but check that out when it is back up as well, for all the original footage of the comet’s approach and departure from the perihelion point.

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About Mark Nottingham

Mark is a PhD student in the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group at UoM. Primarily working on the RIMSKI and RELAX noble gas instruments.
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