A New View of Comet ISON

by Nancy Atkinson on May 3, 2013

View of Comet ISON on May 2, 2013. Credit: Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes, Remanzacco Observatory.

View of Comet ISON on May 2, 2013. Credit: Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes, Remanzacco Observatory.

Update: Here’s a brand new image of Comet C/2012 S1 ISON, as seen on May 2, 2013 by Ernesto Guido and Nick Howes of the Remanzacco Observatory (their image from May 1, which we featured earlier, is below.) For this latest image, they used the 2-meter Ritchey-Chretien Liverpool Telescope. Via Facebook, Howes said they have been able to identify almost the same tail structure which was seen in the Hubble Space Telescope images of this comet from April 10.

From the May 1 observations, their initial approximation of the tail length is around 28 arcseconds, which Howes told Universe Today is bigger than some recent reports from smaller scopes.

Below is their image from May 1, using the 2 meter La Palma Telescope:

View of Comet ISON on May 1, 2013. Credit: Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes, Remanzacco Observatory.

View of Comet ISON on May 1, 2013. Credit: Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes, Remanzacco Observatory.

As of May 2, Comet ISON was approximately 3.885 AU from the Sun, which is about 581 million kilometers (361 million miles) distant from the Sun. ISON will makes its close approach to the Sun when it passes within 1.2 million km (730,000 miles) of the Sun on November 28, 2013.

Here’s a video from NASA about this comet’s path through the Solar System:

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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