Thursday, November 28, 2013

The little comet that could.... ISON lives!

ISON's behavior has constantly surprised astronomers since it was spotted more than a year ago. On Monday, for example, it looked like it wouldn't survive. Yet it was still there on Tuesday. Today, NASA scientists were all but certain that the comet had met it's demise in the fiery sun however, once again, it appears ISON is the little comet that could. Something emerged from the sun after Comet ISON made its closest approach today. Is it the ISON?
We haven't seen any definite nucleus yet," said Padma Yanamandra-Fisher with the Space Science Institute and NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaign.Though she may not be fully intact, all visual indications are that at least part of her has survived.
In addition to being a cosmic tease, ISON is one of the most tracked comets in history. Thousands of telescopes—amateur, professional and space-borne—are being trained on this relatively tiny clump of ancient rock and ice that is no more than three or four miles in diameter.
The comet was discovered in September 2012 by Russian astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok using data from the International Scientific Optical Network, whose initials provided the name.


Updates to come....

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