JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Comet Ison grazing the sun — will it break up? Hanging on, but vaporizing…

It’s been 200 years since the last brand new sun-grazing comet from the Oort Cloud, according to Matthew Knight. This one is going within 0.0124 AU (which means slightly more than 2 solar radii).

—–UPDATE#3 (Post Perihelion): No one is quite sure what happened. The talk on twitter is that there’s no sign of a nucleus (not good),  but there is a dust stream, Ison is not like any other comet they’ve seen. @SungrazerComets tweets: “THIS > RT @RandomSpaceFact It is now clear that Comet #ISON either survived or did not survive, or… maybe both. Hope that clarifies things” Latest pic shows a faint streak leaving…

—– UPDATE #4 – for the best final wrap and spectacular movie see CIOC

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Comet Ison is swinging around the sun today. It’s so close to perihelion it has made it onto both the LASCO and the SOHO solar viewers — the instruments we watch the sun with. (LASCO, means Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph. SOHO is the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory).

Karl Battams writes:

…this is one of the more extraordinary astronomical events to happen in modern history, and we get to sit [...]