Last night I wrote that ISON was the little engine that could. Holy crap ISON – I thought I would have to eat my words today but you refuse to give up. ISON won’t live up to the billing of “comet of the century”, yet it seems at least some of the nucleus survived the sun’s atmosphere. Scientists don’t expect what’s left to be as bright as comet Lovejoy in 2011, that said – ISON is most likely going to be visible in the eastern skies come Dec. 2 0r 3rd. Good job ISON.
Comet ISON was discovered in 2012 by Russian scientists Vital Nevski and Artyom Novichonak; named ISON for their International Scientific Optical Network, ISON juries still deliberate if it will be a boom or bust. On November 28, 2013 the comet dubbed “dirty snowball” will pass within a million kilometres of the sun’s surface. If it survives, ISON will rival any comet event witnessed by mankind. With a brightness magnitude greater than the moon, ISON would blaze across the night sky as one of the most bad ass comets we’ve laid eyes on.
For ISON to prove bad ass it has to survive solar tides and radiation. In 2011 comet Lovejoy survived a brush with the sun, though much smaller than ISON – Lovejoy’s tail lit up the night sky for weeks. At least twice the size of Lovejoy and passing the sun at a greater distance, fingers are crossed for the “comet of the century”.
A composite image of Comet ISON as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope on April 30th, 2013. (Credit: HubbleSite.org/Go/ISON).
As far as I’m concerned – we need a gob smacking, jaw dropping cosmic event to humble our over inflated egos. Nothing like a good dose of universal bad ass to put life in perspective.