Sun Kissed ISON Comet May Be Fading Update

Sun Kissed ISON

Sun kissed ISON comet may be fading.  Since last observations on November 30th, ISON seems to now only be a faint specter of itself with no solid nucleus or just parts of it.  Scientists think it seems to only be a cloud of debris sadly.  So now researchers are continuously watching the skies for any further information on the comets shadow self in hopes that they may be able to obtain more data before everything just fizzles away for good.

Sadly, as poeple hoped to be able to see the comet even with the naked eye, it looks like the only chance of seeing anything from what is left of comet ISON will need to be observed with equipment that experienced astrophotographers have.  On December 17th one may be able to see the sun blasted ISON with binoculars, depending on if it’s remnants are still thriving.

Comet ISON is not being declared fully dead yet from its tanning session with the sun, but it really is hard to tell how long any pieces that survived will continue to shine.  The Hubble Space Telescope, as well as many other satellites, are going to continue tracking anything that happens in the next few days.

Although the ISON comet did blaze back to life after its hair pin turn with the sun, it does not seem like it will be able to continue with that kind of energy after all.  There is some talk among watchers that the possibility of the comet accumulating more icy mass as it gradually leaves the heat of the sun behind.  No one seems to be sure what the remnants of this once so beautiful comet will do.

Researchers will continue to have high hopes that they will be able to obtain more information from what is left of the comet before the show is finally over.  Dr. Battams thinks the sun-kissed comet ISON may have actually fallen apart a lot more before it even reached the closest destination towards the sun.  That is why no one seems to be able to tell what part of ISON is actually traveling away from the sun. There just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot left after it reached the sun. Dr. Battams mentioned that on Sunday the debris just seems to be growing dimmer and dimmer.  He said it will be a sad disappointment for the public because we more than likely will not see it traveling within the Northern hemisphere skies.

The comet may have contained a small nucleus, but has long disintegrated after it’s encounter with our sun.  Or it is possible that any of the ice that ISON had within it has melted away and all that is left is pebbles and rubble.  Some scientists claim that there may not even be any rubble, but only a dust cloud that is slowly disappearing.

So it does seem the excitement of the observation may be over for the researchers, but the data they have obtained while watching it will take weeks to months to analyze.  Even with the complete disintegration of the comet, researchers will still be able to receive data on the makeup of this unusual comet, such as how the planets formed.  Even though the sun-kissed ISON comet may be fading away, scientists still enjoy seeing ISON falling apart right in front of their eyes.

By Tina Elliott

 

Science World Report

National Geographic

New York Times