Comet ISON is now officially gone, well, pretty much. The NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign has issued a memoriam for Comet ISON.
Here is the latest view:
Karl Battams: It may be (almost) gone but comet ISON leaves a legacy of unprecedented data from numerous locations within the solar system! [Image credit: ESA, NASA, Annotations by Karl Battams]
ISON appears as a white smear heading up and away from the sun. ISON was not visible during its closest approach to the sun, so many scientists thought it had disintegrated, but images like this one from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory suggest that a small nucleus may be intact
Image Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO/GSFC
“Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated!” says comet ISON. Data gathered yesterday led astronomers to the unfortunate conclusion that ISON was broken up and vaporized as it grazed the Sun. However a new look at the images show a tiny piece of the comet has survived and is continuing on its journey back into the far reaches of space. Look for ISON in the upper left corner of this picture.
What does this mean? Will it still prove to be the comet of the century? We don’t know yet. Observing comets is exciting because we never truly know what they will do. ISON may still flare up in brightness to put on one final show before exiting the Solar System or it may fizzle out and be gone forever. Stay tuned!
EurtheCast (pronounced ‘earthcast’), a Vancouver company, has launched aboard a Russian Progress 53 cargo ship two cameras that will continuously photograph the surface of Earth 24/7 and relay pictures in near-real time back to earth.
One of the instruments is a still camera with a five-meter resolution and takes pictures of a 40km swath as the ISS circles the globe. The other instrument is a video camera with a one-meter resolution and will take 150 videos a day. These videos will be approximately 90 seconds long and have a 4k resolution.
With your free EurtheCast account, you can have a real time alert sent to you about locations on earth you want to watch as the UrtheCast cameras capture new imagery and video of your favorite places.
So, stand by for some great views of our planet from a place few people have been lucky enough to enjoy.
For the first time in nearly a week, this morning’s pre-dawn sky was clear and so I stepped outside, away from street lights and spotted Comet ISON. I used a pair of 10 x 50 binoculars, but there it was – a faint, diffused comet with a stubbly tail just above the eastern horizon tree line. The bright gibbous moon overhead didn’t help with observing, but it was still worth getting up for. And since I was already outside, I turned my binoculars on Jupiter and Mars, then the Orion Nebula, the Hyades star cluster and again back to Comet ISON just before dawn was braking.
There’s been a lot of mixed reviews recently about Comet ISON; how it was becoming a naked-eye object and then how it might not survive intact after its closest approach to the sun, or perihelion, on the 28th (Thanksgiving). If the comet breaks up as some predict it will, then this weekend, which is suppose to be clear, might be your last chance to see the comet. But then again, it still could become the comet of the decade late December. Fingers crossed.
MAVEN taking off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
today at 1:28 p.m. ET for a 10 month journey to the Red Planet.
It will then begin orbiting Mars.
MAVEN is scheduled to launch in approximately 1 hour. If you are in Florida or South Georgia today you may be able to catch a glimpse of the liftoff. There are some thick clouds over Cape Canaveral Air Force base but the forecast is 60% favorable for launch during a two hour window. .
MAVEN, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft, will study the upper Martian atmosphere to find out how the air on the red planet has changed over time. This discovery may help us understand when and how long Mars might have had an environment that could have supported microbial life in its ancient past.
An exception from the federal government shutdown has been granted to NASA’s MAVEN mission “in order to protect U.S. property”. The property or properties we are talking about are on the planet Mars; the rovers Curiosity and Opportunity. If MAVEN’s launch window, which is only from November 18th through December 19th or 20th, is missed the next opportunity won’t come along until 2016. This delay would cause major problems since MAVEN’s communication equipment will take over the jobs that Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Odyssey have been doing and will allow us to continue to communicate with both rovers. Both MRO and Odyssey have passed their planned lifetimes. Preparation for the launch of NASA’s MAVEN mission has resumed and will continue on an emergency basis.
Besides being equipped to communicate, MAVEN will also probe the Martin upper atmosphere for clues to how the atmosphere has thinned and where its water has gone. MAVEN stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission.
Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) wasn’t alone in the pre-dawn skies above Slooh’s Canary Islands Observatory recently. Accompanying Comet ISON was the huge asteroid “433 Eros” – the second largest Near-Earth Asteroid. Eros was traveling in roughly the same direction as ISON, but at a slightly faster apparent speed, and can be seen above and to the right of the comet. Slooh Members watched the images come in from the observatory in real-time, and immediately spotted the second object moving between successive images.
This time-lapse of five images, created recently by Paul Cox using Slooh’s online robotic telescopes, shows the two objects as they speed through the inner solar system. You can check out updates on Comet ISON and other related online robotic telescope shows at slooh.com.
The view today from Curiosity’s Nav Cam
Since its one year anniversary on August 6th., Curiosity has traveled 1,079.52m (3,541′) or about the length of 12 football fields. That’s an average of 22m per day which is short of NASA’s goal of at least 110m per day. But during this period, Curiosity did have its longest drive of the mission when on 9/5 it advanced 138.62m. On that day the drive was extended well beyond what the Curiosity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena could see by enabling the rover’s on-board hazard avoidance system or Autonav.
Boys and Girls have you heard the news! The planet, stars, comets and asteroids are on the move! Stay tune for more fun activities related to our Solar System. In the mean time lets play a game. Use the word bank to complete the following statements! Creat a postcard or wirte a letter about the Solar System and send it to a friend!
See you soon!
Solar System Post Card Game
I am a star!
I am the fastest planet!
I am the hottest planet!
You live on me!
I am the Red Planet!
I am a rock floating between Mars and Jupiter!
I am the largest planet and also home to the” great red spot”!
I have more rings than any other planet!
I am the only planet tipped on my side!
I am the eighth planet from the Sun!
Solar System Word Bank
Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Sun Asteroids Comets