Home > Comet, Ephemeris Program > 12/02/2013 – Ephemeris – Comet ISON: RIP (Rest In Pieces)

12/02/2013 – Ephemeris – Comet ISON: RIP (Rest In Pieces)

December 2, 2013

Ephemeris for Monday, December 2nd.  The sun will rise at 8:00.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 5:03.  The moon is new today, and won’t be visible.  |  I had originally intended to spend today’s program explaining how to view Comet ISON this week.  That’s not to be.  What can we say to Comet ISON but “Rest in Pieces”.  It looks like going in to perihelion last Thursday, its closest point to the sun,  ISON finally exhausted all its ices, the glue that holds all its rock and dust together.  Coming out from perihelion there was a dense knot of material that gave us hope against hope that the comet survived.  But alas the material spread out and got dimmer, what tail there was was definitely a dust tail, no fast moving ion tail from gas could be seen.  What will be seen in the morning sky this week will probably be below naked eye visibility, but of great interest to professional astronomers.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


This is a video made from The STEREO Ahead Coronograph 2 camera of Comet ISON passing the sun.


The current positions of the Earth, Sun and STEREO Ahead (A) and STEREO Behind (B) spacecraft. Credit NASA/STEREO.

Here’s Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer‘s take on it.  Besides the video above he put together another video from the SOHO LASCO C3 imager.

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