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Thanks to Jim and Wes for all your help with getting the SkyEye All Sky Cam on our website.  You guys are the best!

COMET ISON, R.I.P

Following its Thanksgiving Day brush with solar fire, sundiving Comet ISON is now just a cloud of dust. Among experts, a consensus is building that the comet broke apart shortly before perihelion (closest approach to the sun).

After perihelion, the comet emerges as a diffuse remnant of its former self. No one knows for sure what is inside that fan-shaped cloud. Possibilities include a small remnant nucleus or a “rubble pile” of furiously vaporizing fragments. By the end of the day on Nov. 28th, Comet ISON was spent.

As of Dec. 2nd, the cloud of debris is no brighter than a star of approximately 8th magnitude. Experienced astrophotographers might be able to capture the comet’s fading “ghost” in the pre-dawn sky of early December, but a naked-eye spectacle is out of the question.

Spaceweather.com, December 2, 2013

Nunzio-M_-20131202_111801_s7h1A_1385985975_fpthumb

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) ON STEREO HI1-A
Taken by Nunzio M. on December 3, 2013 @ Vieste(FG), Italy

COMET ISON DIES … AGAIN



Comet ISON is fading fast as it recedes from the sun. Whatever piece of the comet briefly survived its Thanksgiving Day brush with solar fire is now dissipating in a cloud of dust. Click to view a 3-day movie centered on perihelion (closest approach to the sun).

This development makes it unlikely that Comet ISON will put on a good show after it exits the glare of the sun in early December. Experienced astrophotographers might be able to capture the comet’s fading “ghost” in the pre-dawn sky, but a naked-eye spectacle is out of the question.

On Nov. 29th, pilot Brian Whittaker tried to catch a first glimpse of Comet ISON from Earth, post-perihelion, from a plane flying 36,000 feet over the Arctic Circle in northern Canada. No luck.

“Ideal viewing conditions from the Arctic revealed no Comet ISON,” reports Whittaker. “This negative report is to quench the thirst of other fellow dreamers under cloudy skies or further south. Later I could see that SOHO showed the comet dimming further.”

Despite Whittaker’s negative result, it is too soon to rule out observations from Earth as the twice-dead comet moves away from the glare of the sun. Meanwhile, NASA’s fleet of solar observatory will be tracking the remains. Stay tuned for more images.

Spaceweather.com

Dec. 1, 2013