Comet ISON’s Journey Comes To An End

comet ison

After travelling for over a million years, Comet ISON or Comet Nevski–Novichonok, a sungrazing comet discovered on 21 September 2012 by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok will be completing its inward journey through the solar system by the Thanksgiving Day, that is, Nov. 28, 2013.

Researchers feel that either it will shatter due to the extreme heat of the sun or speeds back, never to return.

Space scientists were intrigued since the time they had discovered the Comet ISON (in Sept 2012) because they believe that the comet consists of pristine matter from the earliest days of solar system formation, however, the top layer of which has been lost due to its revolution around the sun. In order to gather more information about this time capsule, NASA had sent a fleet of spacecraft and had employed Earth-based telescopes.

It will be under the tab of NASA’s several Heliophysics observatories as it’ll make it last inbound trip. None of the observatories will face a similar view, in fact, all will watch a different view. STEREO-B will be the only one that sees the comet transit across the face of the sun. Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, will witness its journey above the sun for three hours on Nov.28.

To facilitate the learning of the comet, these observations will make use of comet as a tracer to show movement in the solar wind and solar atmosphere.

The dates of viewings by these observatories are as follows:
Nov 21-28: STEREO-A Heliospheric Imager
Nov 26-29: STEREO-B coronagraphs
Nov 27-30: SOHO coronagraphs
Nov 28-29: STEREO-A coronagraphs
Nov 28: SDO
Nov 28: Hinode



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