Comet Ison Information Website
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Welcome to the Comet Ison information site. Here you can find all the orbit information, brightness predictions and finder charts for this much awaited Comet in 2013.

Click here for diagrams of the Comet's position at Perihelion
Comet Ison Latest News

Last remnents fading

What survived after perihelion is rapidly fading. It's proving difficult for anybody to get an image of the comet at this time (with the exception of SOHO). It's almost certain this will not become a naked eye comet through December

Comet ISON Fading
Courtesy of SOHO, NASA
Comet ISON is alive!

After many reports of Comet ISON's sad demise, new pictures released show what's left of Comet ISON bursting back to life. Increasing in brightness over the past few hours, the image to the right confirms at least part of the comet has survived Perihelion. Scientists are now puzzled and trying to decipher exactly what happened. This is great news and hopefully the brightness will continue for us all to see later in the month. The journey continues...

Comet ISON Survives
Courtesy of SOHO, NASA
Comet ISON Demise?

Comet ISON SOHO Perihelion Image  Comet ISON SOHO Perihelion Image

Reports are coming through that Comet ISON has disintegrated. SOHO's latest animation seems to show the Comet disintigrating just before it even reaches Perihelion. The Solar Dynamics Observatory have no records of the Comet continuing its planned path around the sun. This may all add up to the end of this epic but short-lived comet

Comet ISON visible in SOHO

NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory is now watching ISON as it enters the field of view. This has confirmed that ISON is still doing fine despite its close proximity to the sun. The updated animation from NASA shows the Comet drastically increasing in brightness over the past few hours. To say Ison is in for a bumpy ride would be an understatement! Click the image to the right to see SOHO's latest images

Comet ISON from SOHO
Courtesy of SOHO, NASA
Final views before Perihelion

This beautiful image was captured by KAGAYA of Comet Ison setting behind mount Fiji, Japan. Click the image for Spaceweathers live image gallery for Comet ISON

Comet ISON and Mount Fiji
KAGAYA, ISON & Mount Fiji
Comet ISON drifts in to STEREO's view

Comet ISON has made its first impression on STEREO-A slowly drifting in to view in true style. Earth, Mercury and Comet Encke are also in view. The two comets will visially get very close even though they are actually millions of miles apart. Click the image to see an animation of the Comet's entrance

Comet ISON STEREO Animation
Ison Campaign STEREO Animation
Comet ISON soon to be viewed by STEREO Craft

As Comet ISON dips further in to the twilight morning glow, observing will soon fall away from us and in to the the hands of the SOHO STEREO-A spacecraft. Its Heleospheric Imager will follow the comet all the way to Perihelion. STEREO-B will also join the viewing party. Keep checking back here for any images that may well be published from SOHO.

Further Outburst

A further outburst has been reported by astronomers working at the TRAPPIST telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory. They report that another surge in gas and dust has been detected in the early hours of the 19th. Its thought to have brightened to magnitude +4 since this event placing the comet well in to naked eye visibility. Of course now there's a battle with the morning twilight as the Comet sinks further toward the sun making it rise later each morning.

Comet ISON outburst!

On the 14th November reports have started coming in from various sources of a sudden brightening of the comet. It has been thrust in to naked eye visibility from magnitude +8 to magnitude +6 which makes it visible to the naked eye in good dark sky conditions. If the outburst continues, the comet should become easily visible to the eye by the weekend. The outburst could be caused by fresh ice being released. The comet's nucleus is hidden from view by its atmosphere, so at the moment we can only speculate as to what's happening

This behaviour is reminiscent of previous comet's that have not survived a close perihelion around the sun so this could be bad news for events later in the month, then again it might not. If Comet ISON is strong enough to survive the coming fortnight, then things could get spectacular. As always, this is a game of 'keep observing and see'. All astronomers both amateur and professional are being encouraged to monitor the Comet closely. Click here to obtain the latest orbital data for your GOTO scopes. The comet will pass the bright star Spica on 17th and 18th making Comet ISON easy to find

Damian Peach Image of Comet ISON 15th Nov 2013
Another incredible image of Comet ISON by Damian Peach on 15th November
Comet ISON develops a double tail!

Now that more and more amateur astronomers have been able to image the Comet, it has clearly shown a double tail. This wonderful image taken on 10th November by Michael Jäger of Jauerling Austria clearly shows the two tails. One tail is the Ion gas tail, the other is the dust tail. The dust tail is more of a trail of dust thats left along the Comet's path. The Ion tail is a stream of Ionized gas that is pushed away from the comet by solar wind.

Comet Ison currently lies at visual magnitude 8, still under naked eye visibility however increasingly easy to spot in small telescopes.

Comet ISON's Double Tail
Click to Enlarge Image

Ison reaches under magnitude 9

With comet ISON now being observed just under magnitude 9, it can now be observed in binoculars if you know where to look. Check out the Findercharts page to see its current location. There have also been further wonderful images produced by Damian Peach of the Comet in the past week

Regardless of your profession, anyone can become an amateur astronomer. Even a San Diego personal injury attorney with a love of astronomy can do it. Much can be learned by photographing comets, and amateur astronomers can add to that educational knowledge base.

Older Comet ISON stories...

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