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
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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid