Nov 26 2013

Latest on Comet ISON: death by Sun?

The latest on ISON: it may be in the process of coming apart. But if it doesn’t, later this week, the Bad Astronomer and his buddies will be busy hosting a video party of ISON’s imminent pass by the fire, or its early death:

On Thanksgiving Day — Nov. 28, 2013 — the showy comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) will scream past the surface of the Sun, skimming over the roiling surface of our star at a height of just 1.1 million kilometers (700,000 miles). We don’t know if the comet will shine mightily, blast off chunks of itself, or disintegrate completely during this close encounter.But you can watch the whole thing live, with me, and a pile of NASA scientists on Google+! NASA is holding a live video Hangout on G+ during ISON’s perihelion passage (peri = close, helion = Sun, so perihelion is the closest point in an object’s orbit to the Sun). The event is from 18:00 – 20:30 UTC (1:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST).

Live twitter Q & A at #ISON and #askNASA.


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  1. 1
    Crimson Clupeidae

    Setting my alarm to remind me. I usually can’t get connected to these kind of events, but maybe the servers can handle it this time.

  2. 2

    Damn you, Bruce Willis!

  3. 3

    Actually, presuming that this fragments, what are the chances that trajectories of some of the shrapnel will intersect our orbit…?

  4. 4
    thunk: turmite city


    none. closest approach is 0.4 au.

  5. 5
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    It just annoys me that I’ve never gotten to see the darn thing in the sky. Would be cool if it makes it out and I can see it in early Dec. (Or, you know, anyone else who wants to see it.)

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