ISON Fades

What is left of the comet is rapidly fading.

During the hours after perihelion the comet brightened again, providing hope that some large fragment had survived. Many commentators were speculating that news of the comet’s demise was greatly exaggerated.

A full sequence of comet ISON passing through perihelion on Nov 28, 2013. Movie prepared from the SOHO LASCO C3 imagery.
I will hold to my original opinion, the comet was substantially destroyed. I may be wrong, but that is the fascination of these things, we observe and we learn.

Watching further is providing further evidence that no substantial fragments remain, the flareup was brief, ices originating from the debris cloud providing one last burst of activity.

Over the last twenty-four hours even this has faded, what is left of the comet continuing to disperse and fade. It will be interesting to see what remains when the comet is at last far enough from the Sun for large telescopes to examine the debris field.

Will anything be visible to small telescopes? Possibly, but if there is anything it will be quite faint, something barely seen visually, or photographic only. I am certain that the amateur community will attempt observations. Again, it will be very interesting to see what is found.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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