News / Science & Technology

ISON's Approach Captured by Amateur Astronomers

Comet ISON as seen in September by astronomer Nirmal Paul of the Canary Islands. (NASA)
Comet ISON as seen in September by astronomer Nirmal Paul of the Canary Islands. (NASA)

Related Articles

NASA Gives Up on Lost Comet Probe

Deep Impact launched in January 2005 for close-up study of Comet Tempel-1, but suspected software glitch ceased radio communications in August

Video NASA Confirms Voyager 1 Has Left Solar System

Probe was launched 36 years ago and is now 19 billion kilometers away from the sun

Lack of Methane Deals Blow to Martian Life Theory

The lack of methane gas does not completely rule out the possibility of life
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Comet ISON was spotted and photographed by amateur astronomers as the highly- anticipated arrival of the icy space visitor nears.

"I photographed Comet ISON on September 15 using my 4-inch refractor," reports astrophotographer Pete Lawrence of Selsey in the United Kingdom.  "The comet's tail is nicely on view even through this relatively small instrument."

In Aquadilla, Puerto Rico, astronomer Efrain Morales Rivera saw the comet on September 14 "rising above the canopy of the rain forest just minutes before sunrise. I used a 12-inch telescope," he said.

ISON, which will make its closest approach to the sun on November 28, has the potential to be a spectacular sight, depending on how it reacts to the solar heating it will receive.

NASA, the U.S. space agency, said that in mid-September the approaching comet was glowing like a star of 14th magnitude. That's dimmer than some forecasters expected.

"Certainly we would love it to be a couple of magnitudes brighter right now," said researcher Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C., "but it's doing just fine. I'd say it's still on course to become a very eye-catching object."

NASA cautions that comets are capable of “fizzling at the last minute even after months of promising activity.”

However, if ISON survives its brush with solar fire, it could be visible to the naked eye, NASA said.

Based on the latest images, internationally known comet expert John Bortle said "ISON appears likely to survive the inbound leg of its journey all the way to the Sun. It will probably brighten more slowly than all the early hype led the public to believe. Nevertheless, Comet ISON should very briefly become exceptionally bright, at least rivaling the planet Venus in the hours preceding its closest approach to the sun."

After November 28, ISON will emerge from the sun's glare well-positioned for observers in the northern hemisphere. The comet's tail will likely be visible to the naked-eye in both the morning and evening sky throughout December 2013.

The last comet that did this sort of thing was Comet Lovejoy, which gave viewers in the southern hemisphere a view of the comet’s tail stretching halfway across the sky.

Here's a video about ISON:

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid