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.