So, will you be keeping an eye for ISON? As you might have heard comet ISON is due to fly over the Sun by this November. Artyom Novichonok and Vitali Nevski are first to track ISON. It travels the solar system at tremendous speed. Left a brilliant line that stretches the skies. Because ISON is a heavenly moment to be seized. We collected interesting facts to share it with you. Here are some eye opening things should know.
The Comet ISON Discovery
Officially, ISON name is comet C/2012 S1. So, why do we keep calling it ISON? It all goes back to the comet's discovery in September 2012. The two amateur russian astronomers spotted it when they were scanning the sky as part of the International Scientific Optical Network also known as ISON. At the time of its discovery. Astronomers claimed ISON as the comet of the century. Although, the comet may not be as bright as they hoped. It's still quite a sight!
How It Was Originated?
When the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago. It also produced many comets. Some of these icy objects collided with young planets. While others including ISON were tossed on the system. Many ended up one lightyear away in a cluster called the Oort Cloud. That's where ISON lived until some another disturbance pushed the comet off balance. Starting it on a ten thousand year journey towards the Sun.
ISON is the first comet to come directly from the Oort cloud and fly so close to the Sun. It will come within 1.2 million kilometers of the star's surface. Classifying it as a Sungrazer. If ISON survived its fly by. It will curl back towards us. Brighten up and make it even better spectacle. Even if it bites the dust we can still learn a lot. The comet is made up with the same material as the young solar system. Because it has never been weathered by the heat of the Sun. By looking at its makeup we can learn more about how the solar system formed.
Witnessing the Heavenly Moment
There are ton of eyes on ISON. On the ground there are dozens of professional and amateur telescopes. Higher up we have the standard orbiting telescope such as Hubble. Not to mention, the Fortis telescope which took a brief rocket ride get closer to the comet. And a high-altitude balloon missions. Farther from our planet a variety of instruments have been sneaking peeks of ISON. Photos have poured in from the Deep Impact Spacecraft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mercury's Messenger Spacecraft and even a Solar Observatory. You can get it on the fun too. With free apps like Comet Watch that is available for iPhone and iPad. Mobile application which tells you where to look to spot ISON.
One thing these images show us is the ISON's magnificent tale. As the comet gets closer to the Sun and endures ever increasing temperatures. It sheds particles of rock and ice. And some of these trails behind ISON is a growing gloom of dust. Recently, the tail reached up to 16 million of kilometers. At this length when you look at the comet from Earth. It still takes up the big street of skies. Enough to appear as wide as the bowl of the Big Dipper.
Did Comet ISON Survived?
According to NASA, ISON did not survive its journey around the sun, no longer visible from the view of the Solar Dynamics Observatory right before making its closest range. However, at least part of ISON's core may actually have existing to live. It was the first week of December when NASA announced that comet is officially dead.