Comet ISON – what’s the big deal?

You MUST have heard by now that there’s going to be a brilliant, dazzling, blindingly bright comet in the sky at the end of next year. Woohoo!! The news is everywhere! Every space blogger is writing about it, every space journalist is writing about it, every astronomy forum is abuzz with discussion of it. It’s only a matter of time – hours, I reckon – before the Mass Media get a hold of the story (they’re currently focussing on newly discovered species of plankton), then it will go *nuts*…

< sound of screeching brakes >

Listen very carefully. I shall say zees only wance.


Got that? Good. Now, grab a coffee and we’ll chat about what’s actually going on, and what might actually happen.

I was going to write a long piece about this story for this blog, but in the end I wrote something for UNIVERSE TODAY instead. Go take a look at that, then come back, I have an interesting update. Go on, it’s ok, I’ll wait for you…

So, that’s the story. Basically:

* A comet has been discovered which will make a very, very close fly-by of the Sun next November.

* When it does that, it MIGHT become a very bright, possibly spectacularly bright, naked eye comet in our sky. Perhaps the brightest for centuries.

* But we don’t know yet what will happen. Comets are very unreliable and unpredictable, and this comet might yet fizzle out and be a let-down. We’ll have to wait and see.

What we do know – and this is all we know really – is where the comet will be in the sky, and therefore where it will be visible from. This time – and I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry, but I’m feeling very “haha!!!” about this, which is unkind and ungentlemanly, I know, but after missing the last two Great Comets because I don’t live south of the equator I don’t care! – it will be observable from the northern hemisphere when it’s at its best.

I used the popular STARRY NIGHT astronomy software to leap forward in time to next November, to see where the comet will be. I almost fell off my chair when this appeared on the screen…

WHAT?!?!?!?!? Look at that tail!!!

< sound of screeching brakes again >

The problem with programs like STARRY NIGHT (which are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, that’s not a dig!) is that when it comes to showing the length of comet tails, they’re not to be trusted. They’re essentially software guesses. They don’t take into account the actual viewing geometry at the time, they just airbrush a long, straight tail behind the comet, pointing in roughly the right direction. So, as soon as it appeared (well, maybe a few seconds after!) I realised the depiction of the comet’s tail on that above image was NOT accurate, and when I posted that image, and other STARRY NIGHT renders, on Twitter I was very careful to tell people that.

So it was good to read a comment, and a warning note, from comet expert legend John Bortle on the forum where much of the discussion re the comet – Comet ISON – is taking place. Replying to another forum member who had, like me, used STARRY NIGHT to simulate the comet’s appearance next November he said:

Rahul, while planetarium programs are very helpful to observers in generating cometary ephemerides and plotting such objects’ positions among the stars, they can commonly get things wrong, sometimes very wrong, when attempting to predict the appearance of bright, small q, comets for some future date. Unfortunately, Starry Nights’ projections for the tail of 2012 S1 on the evening of 2013 November 29 are a classic example of this. Even if 2012 S1 fully lives up to its current hyped predictions, its appearance on the evening in question will be drastically different from the illustration posted on your site.

The tails of sungrazing and sun-skimming comets do not track around the Sun in an unchanging linear fashion. As folks will recall, the recent Comet Lovejoy completely lost its tail as it whirled arounded the Sun, thereafter growing a totally new one. Larger sungrazers more commonly will display torturously curved tails (both gas and dust) when passing through their perihelia. The same will surely to be true in the case of comet 2012 S1. The physical situation, one sometimes forgotten by even experienced observers, is that the gas and dust particles ejected from the comet’s nucleus require a finite time to recede from the nucleus to form the tails. The dust particles doing so at a much slower pace than the ionized gas. When the nucleus is traveling at enormous orbital velocity near the time of its perihelion passage, the tail particles are left behind forming a tight arc.

Thus, on the evening of 2013 November 29 the visual tail of comet 2012 S1 will likely be no more than a highly curved stump just a few degrees in length, no matter how brightly the comet’s head may shine. This situation will be compounded by the fact that whatever tail is present will be generally curving AWAY from Earth itself, not toward it.

Only as the comet recedes from the immediate vicinity of the Sun and it’s path through space becomes more linear will the new, long, and virtually straight tail begins to rapidly evolve. A really significantly long tail likely will not become apparent until at least a few days post-T. At the same time the history of tail development for past very bright sungrazing and sun-skimming comets indicates that maximum visual tail length usually occurs
when the nucleus is between 0.8 and 1.0 AU from the Sun if projection circumstances are reasonably favorable.

For comet 2012 S1 this should occur late in December with the comet circumpolar from higher Northern Hemisphere latitudes and with the comet’s nucleus nearest Earth. The waxing December moon will pose a problem in the evening sky from about the 7th until a few days past its full phase on December 22. I hesitate to make mention of the fact, recalling events surrounding Comet Cunningham in 1940 and Comet Kohoutek in 1973, but night of comet 2012 S1 most spectacular visual display could well be December 24th or 25th 2013.


Now that’s interesting! The tail might be at its most spectacular at Christmas! Where will the comet be in the sky at Christmas..?

Ooh, look at that… quite close to Polaris… and I think that it will be almost *circumpolar* as seen from the UK, which means it won’t set, or at least its head will only swoop behind the horizon for a while before reappearing again. Oh wow… if it develops a long tail we might see it shooting up from the horizon like Comet Lovejoy’s did recently…

And after midnight, when the comet was cimbing up into the northern sky again, it could look truly magnificent –


So… here we are… in the frankly fantastic position of having not one but *two* naked eye comets to look forward to next year, because don’t forget Comet PANSTARRS will be gracing our skies in March. Nine months after that, we might all be standing outside in our millions, gazing in awe at a Great Comet blazing in the sky, its tail sweeping across the heavens like a searchlight… or we might all be cursing ISON’s name and damning its memory like people damned Kohoutek’s memory back in 1974.

All we can do… everyone join in… is WAIT AND SEE… :-)

Now, go back to the top of the page and take a look at the charts…

122 Responses to “Comet ISON – what’s the big deal?”

  1. Great job

    Maybe you could post a Worse case scenario look,, a medium view, and then, a Best case view. just to get a feel

  2. Excellent post. Very informative and with style. Thank you.

  3. 2013 Dec


    Do a little History on this one.

    ALL Should Look Up “2012 DA14”.

    This could take out one of more satellites and the junk and debris from the hit could end up taking out many more satellites very soon after that. All the satellite collision probability will go way up if even one is hit. The velocity that the parts would go to would make them missiles that would start targeting a chain reaction this would not be good.

    Most all will be watching this one and pray it goes by us without a hit. Every Scientist alive will be watching this event. Many will be in Florida for a very special viewing of the once in a Lifetime Event. Professors, Scientist, World Leaders, Ham Radio Operators and Every Astronomer will have its eyes on This Event, along with almost every TV set on Earth.

    “2012 DA14” goes by Earth twice a year and there is no way anyone for sure, can tell how close the second pass will be till it passes by the Moon and Earth and the GRAVITATIONAL FORCE effect that it will have on this Asteroid.

    They may come close but this one is already coming very close to begin with. Too close this time or on its second or 3rd pass? Ad a Meteor Shower like the 13 and 14 of December of 2012, it might go through or bump into one of them? Or all the other more then 20,00 pieces of orbital debris like Spent Rocket Boosters left in space that can no longer be moved by a control center on Earth. Or add a Solar Flare. Or a Comet ISON or its tail debris of millions of rocks of all sizes.

    If a big enough one were to slam into the moon in the night sky you would think the sun was coming up early only it would be 5 to 7 times as bright. From The Sun’s Rays Reflection on all the Debris Field.

    2012 XM16, 2012 XM55, 2012 XP55, THERE ARE OVER 25 found just in the year 2012 that are part of the Near Earth Object Program that will come close to Earth from now till 2012 DA14 comes, Feb 14 – 16, 2013.

    You do not want to know how many are on the “PLANETARY DEFENSE” list.
    The PLANETARY DEFENSE is not to protect Earth from men from Mars.
    It is for all mankind with most all Nation in on it to stop if can most all collision with EARTH from a ASTEROID IMPACT. It is if you will a AVOIDANCE SHIELD. “N.E.O.S. Near Earth Object Shield”.

    If only one were to hit or IMPACT EARTH on land get ready for a winter you will never forget. The winter from 1883 -1884 KRAKATOA you will think was a little pebble, and now the stone comes.

    A Shock Wave was felt in England from a Event about 7:15 to 7:20 A.M. Siberia time in the morning in June of the year 1908 high in the sky above the Forest in the remote wilderness of Tunguska Siberia heard an explosion that laid flat more than 800 square miles of the forest with all the trees pointing away from the center of the blast with most all the trees laying on their side. Some trees that were right below the blast were still there looking like telephone poles with no bark or branches left on them. This Asteroid did not even hit the Ground and this is known by most as the TUNGUSKA EVENT. For all that lived there it was WORMWOOD Rev 8:11 the wood became full of worms and the rivers water no longer sweet and undrinkable.

    If a Meteor Shower is big enough you might think all the stars are falling from Heaven.

    About one every 100 years makes it into the Earth’s Atmosphere big enough for all to take note. Some make it to the surface the signs are all over the Planet and moon from the ones that have.

    If you need a visual sign of a collided impact with a planet look to

    “SHOEMAKER – LEVY 9” July 1994.

    You Need More Look up “PROJECT WORMWOOD” Revelations 8: 10 – 11 based on the “TUNGUSKA EVENT” 1908

    Better to be safe then sorry.


    Read your Bible
    While you still can,
    and May our Lord GOD Bless all that do so.
    John 14 : 6
    Luke 13 : 27
    Matthew 7 : 20 – 27

    Matthew 12:39

    Matthew 24:3 – 14

    The Lord’s Little Helper.
    Paul Felix Schott.

    December 2013 the Heavens above COMET “C/2012 S1”, “ISON”.

    ALL ON EARTH WILL SEE THIS NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE. the night side of earth will become day and and day will be blinding bright.

    Shortly there after you will think the stars are falling from the Heavens,

    REV 6:13,

    REV 16:21

    most will be between 60 to 80 pounds that will make it to the ground surface. Nonstop 12 to 14 hours at a time for two days.

    from ISON long tail Jan 1-4, 2014 if it dose not consume Mars first and makes it around the SUN without the sun consuming it.

    Help others in are Lord’s name Jesus Christ help bring all to know him while you still can.

    Three kings that were wise men once flowed a star with a long tail 2,000 years ago. That lead them to Jesus Christ wise men still look to and hear are Lord Jesus Christ.

    • Yaaaaay! And we have a winner for the coveted ‘First End of The World Predicting Nutter To Post Something Stoopid!’ prize! Congratulations! Now bugger off and go write rubbish on someone else’s blog, preferably after learning how to spell and punctuate too.

      • phoenixpics you are $tupid AS FUC K..pull your head out of your a$$ you british FUC K

      • Thanks for your comment, always lovely to hear from a satisfied reader. Makes it all worthwhile… 😉

        Just an idea, but before you start calling other people dumb, learn how to spell and punctuate, then at least when you post troll comments like that you won’t seem such an idiot yourself.

      • 🙂

      • I feel sorry for you, phoenixpics. For the day will come when you are locked out of the Kingdom and may you bang and holler against the doors but they will not open for you. This is your chance, yet you only mock and make fun. May the Holy Spirit come alive within you and show you the truth before its too late.

      • Oh shut up.

    • Only time will tell if Paul is right and i tend to agree, if you have faith, which millions do, we believe in what the bible says, as it has already had loads of predictions come true, therefore if you believe in the bible you believe in the end of days, why shouldnt this be it? We seem to be at a point in time where all the signs point to it, ie human behaviour, wars, famines, earthquake etc, and yes those things have always happened but its more than that. I would have to check my references. I expect Pauls cover it i will check.I dont think its very helpful though for someone just to be rude and obnoxious as the above obviously is, if you dont believe well maybe its because god hasn’t called you, maybe he doesn’t want you ! Face it you’ll need God alot sooner than he’ll need you !

      Back to a scientific theme, how can you tell where the comet will go if it is a new one ? this is a new one isn’t it ? or have i read that wrong somewhere ? Surely if it has travelled from so far (the Oort Cloud ), how do they know the orbit ?


        DECEMBER 24 – 26, 2013




        680 – 685AD

        348 AD


        As it was in Noah’s day nobody would listen to him giving the warning. Many thought it was funny till the rain water from the Comet would not stop for days on end. Very Sad for many will be sorry.
        Pray for your love ones and lead them to are LORD while you can.

        Matthew 24:37

        The Lord’s Little Helper
        Paul Felix Schott

        May 16, 2013

      • STFU – and if you’re going to post crap on someone’s blog, learn to spell and punctuate.

  4. 15 Feb 2013 UTC 19.500 RA 11 39 40.827 Dec – 1 44 18.64 App Mag 7.4

    7.4 should present an interesting photography challenge!

    On the other hand, Mr Schott says there will be plenty else going on so I’ll clera the 16Gb card before going out ;o)

  5. Comet nuclei are energetic orbital dark matter. Their tail is a beta decay shower of protons and electrons and not sublimed gas. The fact NASA and the media spew 1950’s ideas that a comet is a dirty snowball is ABSURD. Comets have been known to emit x-rays and plasma rays and have also exploded with the force of a Nuclear bomb.

    • Unbelievable.

      • Unbelievable? How ironic. That is who and what you are, phoenixpics. The pride you feel in others spelling correctly, lol, contributes to you not hearing. What a great excuse to NOT listen. Keep insulting, everyone already knows who you are. Even if you hide behind a moniker, like an e-thug. Hiding. Scared. How we pity you, that the Holy Spirit is within you, yet you deny yourself. Shame. Sorrow is what you sow, sorrow is what you’ll reap. We won’t laugh at your gnashing teeth, we will only be sad.

      • Hide? My name is on the very opening page of this blog! Shows how little attention you pay.

  6. Although silly, the end of worlders and pseudo science nuts are very entertaining! It always amazes me what some people will believe.

    • Like maybe that the world will never end and that even though we have been in a quiet section of the galaxy for billions of years nothing catastrophic is likely to happen ever? No point dwelling on it (partially because of the enormous odd against) but catastrophic things do happen all of the time in this galaxy.

      I’d lay money on a CME before a comet.

  7. Great stuff, here. Thanks so much. Am looking forward to whatever happens and put a link to this article on my blog.

  8. We are all Gonna DIE! No just kidding!!!!
    Man that sounds so cool! I can hardly wait

    • Ok PanStarr was a total DUD from my location in south Texas!
      What’s the Next comet due and will I have any kind of viewing Op at all?
      McAllen TX location Dime store Telescope Can see stars pretty will and some planets too! So not a Notable piece of TECHNO but it works!

      • I can’t believe it’s been a *total* dud unless you’ve been trying to see it at the wrong time or your weather has been bad, not when people all across the US have been reporting great views. Look to the west an hour after sunset, sweep sky with binoculars yo find it then zoom in with telescope and you’ll see its lovely tail. But ISON will be brighter for you later in the year (hopefully!) and you’ll find full details of that elsewhere on my blog. Before Nov 29th you’ll see it in morning sky before dawn, after that in evening sky, in West, after sunset. By Christmas it will be visible through the night.

      • Check out the photos here to see what to actually expect of PANSTARRS

  9. You guys need a chill pill, hope some of you choke on it.

  10. […] Waiting for ISON […]

  11. so just curious how will this compare to hailbop that comet was the most awesome I have ever seen was bright and in the sky for at least 4 months seen it everywhere I went I went to a lot of places in 96 hope it compares

  12. I wrote the previous post about a piece if ison collision with the sun. I’d appreciate your views on the effect of a collision.

    • Paul, there would be no effect at all. Comets are made of ice, and are small anyway, so a small piece of ice breaking off a larger piece of ice, and falling into an enormous fireball, which is what the Sun is, would have no effect on us at all. The piece of comet would just evaporate.

  13. i hope we dont have anything to worry about i worry about things like this

    • Nothing to worry about Samantha, please don’t believe any of the rubbish the Doomsday nutters are saying! Just look forward to seeing something lovely in the sky at the end of the year. 🙂

      • Ya phoenix ur a moron go and do some actual research on this thing we can all see ur job is to. All everyone from impending doom good work champ… Everybody go about your daily business well the gov stock piles rations builds FEMA camps and builds bunkers deep inside mountains you people are fools go and do some research. NASA is constantly changing there story about this global killer have fun and enjoy ur time on earth cause its short

      • Hmmm. *I’m* a moron? Just read back your illiterate rant and ask yourself who the moron is. As for “doing research”, I strongly suspect a lifetime of being an amateur astronomer, science book author, schools Outreacher and Educator has given me enough factual information about comets and astronomy to be able to pass it on to others and to know what’s going on. Certainly more than an internet troll who spells “your” as “ur” and punctuates like a 4 year old texting on their first mobile phone. But thanks for dropping by, appreciate it. 🙂

  14. Comet Ison or Sion warned us God is near on earth. Sion is found in the Philippines.

    • Maria, I fully respect people who have religious beliefs, and faith, but please stop wasting your time posting any further comments on here, I’ll just keep deleting them. Comet ISON is not a sign from any god of anything, it’s a big chunk of gritty, mucky ice that is coming in from the cold, to bathe briefly in the Sun’s light, hopefully putting on a fantastic show in our night sky, before returning to the darkness. It’s a sign that *physics* moves things about ‘out there’, nothing more.

  15. Astrophysicists believe this is the first time that Comet ISON has entered the inner solar system. It will return in another 110,000 years, if at all. Hopefully, as a sungrazer, it will produce the massive tail in the graphics above and spark in interest in astronomy and what lies beyond our atmosphere.

    For more information on Comet ISON (discovery, meteor showers, observations, images and video) visit

  16. Its another thing that we have no control on. It should be quite interesting. I will be keeping a eye on this…

  17. I was born 12.26.73 at 138am. When kohoutek was in perihelion -i was concieved when it was first sited 😉
    Lets just say im “supa galactic” and have WAY diff energy than most 😉

  18. Love your blogs , Hate the fear mongers it amazes me how any astronomical event can turn into a doomsday event ! In another one of your blogs you stated that u had read or heard someone say something about ISON pulling mars out of orbit my god how stupid are these ppl c/2013 A1 is going a hell of alot closer without ill effect have you seen all the wacky claims on utube today and the solar fares that have recently occured you guessed it it is ison causing theses flares doesnt have anything to do with that fact that 2013 is the solar maxium blah blah blah

    • Thanks Amy, appreciate that. I’m trying g to not get too worked up about the nutters who have latched on to ISON, but it’s hard when they’re such deluded or mischievous idiots. YouTube is infested with them. Not going to give them any publicity here by naming them, but one YouTube channel has established something of a monopoly on ISON craziness and regularly hosts Google+ hangouts for people to swap rubbish, conspiracy theories and other nonsense. I despair sometimes that people perfectly happy to embrace computers, the Internet and other tech given to them by scientists are so quick to dismiss the work and word of other scientists who work in astronomy. Freedom of speech is fine. Freedom to spout stupidity is something else. I won’t put up with it here, and delete any pseudoscientific crap as soon as it’s posted. There has to be somewhere people can go to to just learn about ISON, follow it’s story as it develops, and enjoy the show – whatever that show turns out to be. 🙂

      • I can bet my bottom dollar on the utuber you are talking about i have been in contact with a well known amature Astronomer from Adelaide who has a blog and is going to debunk Her??? Nonsense !!! . Dr Philp Plait gave me some good advice he said to me if a utuber or website says Nasa cant be trusted they definatly cant be trusted

      • ‘hypocrit’? That should be’ hypocrite’ surely?

  19. They haven’t CHANGED ANYTHING, they’ve just pinned down the date more accurately. Solar max isn’t set in stone, it’s dictated by many things. I wish people would learn a little astronomy.

    • Ohhh dear dont think i can keep reading these reply’s these ppl that have no knowledge on even basic astronomy are giving me a headache !

  20. Sir, nicely written…. As ur artical shows…. same thing happn with Comet Panstarras…. software shows long trails but we are hardly able to see comet naked eyed first time….

    I saw some naked eyed comets like hale-bope, Hyakutake, Taboor, Holmes n lastly Panstarrs n recalling memories of them they were faint even in dark sky….
    When I show comet 1st time in software even I was wondering…. can we see that much tail just after sun set? My general exp says no. But if tail is actualy that much long then we can see after sky getting dark…

    Let we wait n see what hpns

    Nishant Narendra Gor
    Kutch Amateur Astronomers’ Club

  21. “”What do you mean they have not changed anything?””
    “THEY” “THEM” Change Stuff all the time, But thats just how it works when you collect new information and data every single second of every day!!
    _——->STUFF CHANGES<——-_And "THEY" report the change!

  22. I was wondering if you heard anything on the blood moons coming over the next year or so? Could you explaine what that is?

  23. The Blood Moon occures every 48 to 50 years There is no Devil or child of a GOD born, NO mystic Magic other than its a cool night to through a barbecue! And drink tell you pass out!

    ISON does not cause the BLOOD moon as far as I know!

  24. Where will the BEST viewing be? I smell a vacation, and this would be fun to make as a destination for viewing!

  25. Thank you for your comment on the blood moon. However, my question is what causes a blood moon? Is it the suns reflection off the moon? or what?

  26. this red colouring happens because of sunlight that reaches the Moon has to pass through a long and dense layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, where it is scattered. Shorter wavelengths are more likely to be scattered and so the longer wavelengths dominate henceforth resulting in hunters moon/blood moon

  27. Hi there, everything is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s genuinely excellent, keep up writing.

  28. a question

  29. I am quite looking forward to comet Ison and hope there will be clear skies on the night.
    Looking out into the cosmos has always amazed mankind, but unfortunately some try to atribute mystical significance, hence the tag “loonies”! Just watch the big dirty snowball and enjoy it for what it is.

  30. What if it is not a comet and it is a ship and will going to block our Sun. What will the people do? I hope they are ready for this because something is going to happen.

  31. When nothing happened so many times, it’s easy for people to laugh and say, “oh Youtube people again”, or “planet X foolishness” or “they’ll be coming up with something else next year”. I’m not saying anything is going to happen, but, no ones always right, neither are scientists, but when scientist are wrong they just go back and study over and over again and come up with another theory for us to believe, till proof comes up that they were wrong again and they just repeat, and we, well, some people, just go along with it because they’re scientists and we’re not. To make it short no one knows what can happen at anytime, this universe is unpredictable, don’t let the false alarms of the past bring you more comfort than you need to stay prepared.

    • Thanks for your very thoughtful and respectful comment, a great contrast to the rants posted by some of the whackos who insist on shouting their ignorance here. I hope you get to see the comet.

  32. The Vaporized tail path after going by the SUN will light up the December skies.

    In October 2013 (C/2012 S1) will be crossing close to the Orbit of Mars.
    In October 2014 (C/2013 A1) will be crossing Mars Orbit too Close.

    On November 1-2, 2013 (C/2012 S1) will pass very close in front of Earth Orbit. Remember its tail is Millions of miles long.

    November 28-29, 2013 it will speed up as it rounds the SUN, goes around it.

    November 29-30, 2013 it will be clear of the SUN and glow brighter each day there after.
    If it makes it passed the SUN?

    December 24-26, 2013 it will light the night sky.

    January 1 – 5 ,2014 Planets line up in almost a straight line with Comet ISON and our SUN.

    January 12 – 17, 2014 the SUN could be blocked out from the comets long tail of star dust. Even if it does not make it around the SUN.

    January 14-16, 2014, Earth will be going right through part of its tail path, that (C/2012 S1) took on the way to the SUN.

    Comets have rocks of all sizes, dust, water, ice and gases, most all gets Vaporized to a glowing yellow or white if it passed to close to the SUN. This Glowing mass can be seen for a Billion + miles away. This absorb energy is carried back with the comet in its orbital path some to deep space.

    The Sun can have a effect on a comet like 1986 Halley’s Comet that for years we will be having meteor showers from it ETA AQUARID and ORIONID METEOR SHOWER. Some Meteor Showers can be for a day to more then a week long.

    ( C/2013 A1 )

    Discovered on January 3, 2013, by Robert H. McNaught born 1956
    he is more then a Experienced Comet Hunter and well know Astronomer.

    Robert H. McNaught discovered over 50 Comets and very many hundreds of Asteroids.
    Robert H. McNaught discovery of this comet was made with
    one of the more then 10 telescopes on Siding Spring Mountain Top
    at 3,822 ft. above sea level
    Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory
    it is in New South Wales, Australia.

    One of the Most Valuable Scientist and Engineer for NASA and the U.S.A.F.
    and by far the most loved by all that came to know Samuel T. Bedingfield
    was a big fan of Siding Spring Observatory. Sam is now with our LORD.

    Both of these two have played a big part in the Earth’s NEO. Near Earth Object.
    Each on the other side of the planet. Opposite side of Earth.


    ( C/2013 A1 ) could give ( Planet Mars ) more then just a Little Kiss October 20, 2014.

    Photo of
    Samuel T. Beddingfield, Monica D. Key Lindbergh, Francis J. Reilly and crew of the Space Walk of Fame. Raymond P. Sharkey is the one always dressed well in a suit next to Charlie Mars, tallest in the group is Walt Johnson. Photo by Paul Felix Schott all of us spent years volunteering for NASA, the USAF, USN, USCG and many Federal Agencies and PATRIOTIC events.

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott

    • Wow. I mean… Wow… Thanks for stopping by but I really don’t think this is the right place for you. This is a science site.

    • There is no possible way ISON ‘s tail could block out the Sun. Although they look thick on photos, in reality they are very tenuous, almost a vacuum. Earth has passed through several comet tails in the past and there was no dimming of the Sun.

  33. Hello my name is Cynthia and I was hoping to ask you a few questions after just reading an article you wrote about comet Ison.
    I have been reading and watching all different opinions concerning Ison and it seems to me that NASA and many scientists as well as astronomers are strangely quiet on the subject. That leaves only lay men and amateur astronomers sounding off which can be confusing. And it can also make you wonder why no one in authority is speaking. A person is hard pressed to find any recent data our even opinions on the matter.
    So i was hoping you could answer a few questions that seem to be legitimate worries people would have if they have any kind of common sense.
    One would be if Ison is trailing a debris field that is thousands of miles long how are people supposed to believe it is only dust? Couldn’t it contain meteors a well? Wouldn’t there be large enough meteors to make it through the atmosphere?
    Two isn’t earth going to go through this debris field twice? Would debris be continuously falling for months? And wouldn’t Ison pass through the asteroid belt picking up asteroids and pushing them along in front of it?
    Three isn’t there a very big threat of Ison triggering an EMP and how soon would that that take place? Would people need to be worried as Ison approached the sun in November or when it rounded the sun in December? Would there be a threat of multiple EMP’s?
    And finally if there is a threat wouldn’t it be morally right to warn people so that they could prepare for the possibility of something happening which would lesson the strain on government programs to assist in these types of situations?

    Thank you for your time


    • Hi Cynthia. Thanks for visiting my blog, and for your questions. I have no time for nutters and wackos here, which is obvious, I think, but I appreciate anyone taking the time to ask about things genuinely concerning them politely and sensibly, so I’m happy to address your concerns. Firstly, your point about NASA “staying quiet”. Far from it! NASA are very, very busy with Comet ISON. ALl their rovers on and orbiters around Mars are going to take images of it; the Hubble telescope has already imaged it; NASA has produced many videos about it; astronomers around the world are studying it and preparing a very busy programme of observations when it’s closer. The problem is, ISON has been hijacked by so many nutters and End Of The World idiots that NASA’s stuff gets drowned out by the garbage being posted on Twitter and YouTube about such utter, utter garbage as “Nibiru”, “Xanterexx” and worse. If you want recent info, there’s an excellent website being run by the COMET ISON OBSERVING CAMPAIGN. Just Google “ISON+CIOC” and you’ll go straight to it.

      Secondly, your concerns about the “debris field”, as you put it. ISON isn’t trailing a “debris field” behind it as you might imagine, i.e. it’s not leaving behind a trail of great chunks of rock and tumbling, icy boulders. What’s coming off ISON is basically dust and, possibly, grit, nothing much larger than that. If bigger pieces were coming off they would show up in Hubble photos. This misconception comes from movies like DEEP IMPACT and ARMAGEDDON which show comets and asteroids as huge, howling, tumbling beasts, with swarms of jagged, terrifying debris around and trailing behind them. ISON simply isn’t anything like that. It’s essentially a big space iceberg, warming up in the sunlight and the Sun’s warmth. As it warms, its icy crust melts – sublimes, actually – releasing a lot of dust mixed up with the ice. Gas comes out of the comet too. This material forms a glowing hazy cloud around the nucleus, and some is pushed away or left trailing behind it, but it’s just dust, and gas, no “Mini asteroids” or “mini comets”, and we really only see it because it’s reflecting or flourescing in sunlight. Comet tails look impressive, and thick, and curdled, but they’re really a lot of empty space with just a bit of “stuff” in it. That’s why when Earth passed directly through the tail of Halley’s Comet in 1910 no effects at all were seen. That said, there is always a chance that larger pieces might come off a comet, it’s true, but even if they did they’d be mostly made of ice so would burn up in the atmosphere. But again, yes, some people think that pieces of a comet might make it to teh Earth’s surface, and some scientists I think believe the famous 1908 Tunguska Event – when a fireball exploded over Siberia and flatted many miles of forest – might have been caused by an exploding comet fragment, but others dispute this. But at the moment there’s no evidence at all that ISON will leave anything nasty in its wake for us to fly into! 🙂

      As for ISON’s passage through the asteroid belt, I address that in a recent post here on this very blog:

      ISON & EMP: No, there’s no threat, at all. Despite what nutters will insist on telling you about how comets are “electric bodies” that can “spark off the Sun” and create solar flares because of their iron content, we know for a fact – a FACT – that ISON is just a big chunk of ice, dirty mucky ice, just a few km across. So when it flies past the Sun, at a distance of many millions of miles still, it will either get hot and just melt away, or it will get ripped to bits by the Sun’s gravitational stresses, or it will whizz around it and come out the other side intact. What it won’t do, and can’t do, is form any kind of “electrical circuit” with the Sun, triggering any kind of solar activity. Throw an ice cube into a fire – does it spark? Does it send a shock wave across your room? No. So don’t worry about any EMPs being caused by ISON. There won’t be any.

      Your final point, about it being morally right to let people know if there *was* a threat… yes, absolutely there would be, and they would do that, and the fact that no warnings have been raised is proof that there’s no risk. You see, ISON isn’t the reserve of NASA or the Govt, nothing in the sky or “Out there” is. Today’s “amateur astronomers” aren’t just geeks with small telescopes who stand in their gardens looking at the sky. Amateurs have telescopes as big as you’ll find in some observatories, linked up to computers and cameras of great sophistication and expense, and their observations are very, very accurate. They observe comets and asteroids – they DISCOVER comets and asteroids – and plot their paths and orbits *independantly*, with no input or censorship from NASA and no obligation to them either. So if ISON was a risk to Earth it couldn’t be kept a secret by NASA, or “The Govt” because there are many other people following it too, and if any of them found a risk you can bet they’d get the word out, there’d be no way of stopping them, though the nutter brigade would insist that they would be “silenced” of course. And really, in this modern age, no secret is a secret for long. If there wasa a threat from ISON it would have been uncovered by a journalist, or a hacker, or someone, by now.

      So, there you go. I hope I’ve answered your questions and allayed your obviously genuine concerns. Really, the only risk from ISON is that it will fail to live up to expectations, be so faint in the sky it will only be visible through telescopes, and then the public will turn on astronomers again! But if you need any more convincing, bear this in mind. This isn’t the first time this has happened. A couple of years ago, a comet called ELENIN was being given the same Doom treatment by the nutters, who predicted it would hit Earth, wipe us all out, trigger solar flares, align with planets to cause earthquakes etc. Once it had sailed past, harmlessly, they all conveniently forgot all about their predictions and moved on to talking BS about the Mayan Calendar predicting the end of the world in 2012. That date came and went, and they all either forgot about their predictions, or calculated a *new* date. It’s as pathetic as it’s amusing. In fact, if you look on Twitter a lot of the people making these predictions about ISON have “2012” in their Twitter names, suggesting they started their accounts in anticipation of the Mayan Calendar ending the world… that they’re still using the same names in 2013 shows how ridiculous and pathetic they are. And lazy, too!

      Hope this helps, thanks again for your comment and for visiting my blog. I hope you get a great view of the comet later in the year!

  34. Thank You For Answering My Questions As You GUessed I’m Not A Nut I Just Don’t Know Astronomy And In This Day And Age Sadly For Genuine Reasons Don’t Completely Trust Everything My Government Says Again Sadly BUt Thank You For The CrAsh Course In Astronomy

  35. […] […]

  36. IF this comet survives its close encounter (I give it 59% to survive not its trip), It will probably split into 2 or 3 parts. This has happened in the past, when a comet split into 4.

    Do I believe this will mark the end of the world? No. Do I believe it COULD mark the end? No. Is it possible the comet may veer off course, get hit by some object, and be ricocheted into the planet? Yes, but very unlikely. Do I believe that it is home to G_D, and that it is a gargantuan spaceship coming to bring believers home? NO.

    Do I believe the world will end someday? Yes. It will. It may be a year, 10 years, 50 years, or another billion. I cannot say; most of our information is simply guesswork.

    Do I believe that Trolls are here, now, trying to berate the blogger? You’ve see it.

    Science and religion are not two different worlds; they are two sides of the same coin. The reverse may keep coming up, but the obverse is still there.

  37. well, i’m going to get out of the city lights with my telescope, binoculars, camera and some friends and enjoy watching the celestial traveler ISON cruise on by. Not expecting any apocalyptic events, just a chance to view another comet… and I have been studying the bible for the last 55 years. All of the christians i know just quietly go about living out their faith by loving others and serving them.

    • Thanks for that Dennis, appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. I hope my blog is proving useful top you, and that you get a fantastic view ofthe comet with your friends. I’d love to see any pictures you manage to take 🙂

  38. comet ison–is a large planet 5x the size of earth–it is pulling debris—comets dont pull debris—this could be planet x—thank god it missed us–now all we have to worry about is the debris–is it dust or 100 pound rocks????

    • Don’t be so bloody silly. If it was five times bigger than Earth would we need a telescope to see it? Grow up.

  39. If I hear another person talking about almighty this and almighty that…
    >) <<<Going to puke. These things are meant for your fellow parishioners. We want to know about space chatter. Tis' why we come here.
    All the mumbo jumbo from the religious cults is all man made. Even if the almighty said people would say that in disbelieve. Go to the religion of your choices website and recite your sayings there. Leave us to toil in the afterbirth of your exodus from here.

    ~~all in good fun. space is never ending…

  40. If ISON has no chance of hitting or damaging earth and we can satisfactorily prove this, then why didn’t we predict what the meteor did in Russia at the beginning of this year? Over 1000 injured and millions of dollars in damage.

    • Good question. Because the object that came down over Russia was MUCH smaller than ISON – the size of a building compared to the size of a village – and on a trajectory that didn’t bring it to anyone’s attention. Objects that size might be picked up as they’re approaching but they’re dark, inanimate bodies, hard to spot. Comets are much easier – larger, and they are surrounded by bright clouds of gas and dust.

  41. Friday Nov 22 Cattle Point Urban Star Park, Victoria, BC :

    Bill Smith : HERE IS COMET ISON. With my naked eye. Yesterday with cloud on horizon over Seattle, two clear white streaks could be seen but I thought it just could not be ISON with my naked eye and such cloud. Well right now FRIDAY morning with a beautiful sunrise (with sun still below horizon) at 07:13 am, there is COMET ISON over Everett as seen from Victoria. Exact same place as yesterday – memories of Hale-Bopp came back. The streaks are exactly where you would predict they would be – and yes – there are two enormous streaks way longer than I expected, due to sun shining on the two (at least two) long tails – the Devils Horns. Bill Smith in Oak Bay, BC

    • The FREE eBook asks 9 basic questions :

      Is ISON a long period comet on a hyperbolic orbit?
      Is ISON from the Milky Way Galaxy whereas typical short period comets like Halley, are from the Sagittarius Galaxy like our sun (+ its planets, comets and asteroids)?
      Will ISON explode and generate the most amazing tail visible to the naked eye in December and January?
      Will particles be blown on the solar wind to Earth and affect satellite communications or the Northern Lights?
      Will ISON deliver to Earth’s atmosphere a set of new viruses and bacteria as predicted by the Panspermia Hypothesis?
      Are massive hyperbolic exocomets like ISON the source of the earth’s water?
      How lucky are we that earth was not on the trajectory of ISON?
      Will we ever be able to detect, track and divert such hyperbolic comets?
      What experiments are planned over the next 2-12 months? Detection of complex molecules (even life itself?)?
      Click here to download and enjoy this FREE eBook.

      William E. Smith Cattle Point Urban Star Park, Victoria, BC, Canada November 2013

    • Click to access Comet_Ison.pdf

    • How could the comet have been in *exactly* the same place as the day before, when it’s moving closer to the Sun each day?

  42. The meteor was an asteroid. It was a body orbiting in the plane of the planets. It was small and hard to detect as it actually came into the earth’s atmosphere. BUT ISON is a hyperbolic comet coming in at a steep angle to the ecliptic. Once spotted we can track it over 4 months as it comes into the sun.

  43. Dear ChemE: Excellent. My mentor Prof Chandra Wickramasinghe has also long believed that the H2O inside hyperbolic comets was likely NOT all ice but mostly water – warm enough (through the kind of reaction you describe) to be the perfect incubator for microbes – especially viruses. I am hoping ALMA experiments might be able to provide evidence for this over the next 2 months.

  44. I’d very much like to communicate with you in our own BLOG. I think using this will upset lots of people as we might appear too “intense”. I will set up a BLOG at and invite you in.

  45. I suppose your waiting at 00.00.00 long and lat. Maybe around California or possibly mexico your to easy to track tell google there software blows… As well as your so called comet update I would have more luck pissing in a hurricane against the wind while trying to stay remain dry do the math piss in the wind unprepared get urine on ones self… Good day manipulator of words

    • I’m “easy to track”? Interesting choice of words. May need to pass on your details.

      • Lmao…don’t go nuclear. a simple observation from one fellow to a next on how easy people can be found now a days no threat intended at all I am the farthest thing from a violent man and I’m sorry if anger stained my meaning…perhaps I shall just ask why everyone I try to locate of any importance is along the are zero degree mark your knowledge of the stars is apparently vast due to the amount of oort comets you have experienced in your lifetime. You have to be tired of regurgitating these facts that can’t be fully determined until we have fully studied the comets complete solar cycle. Everybody has the ability to gain this knowledge with a little digging were they don’t Belong lol. I erased all global positioning lats. Don’t want a name just self vindication call it confessed. Take care and sry again for any misgivings…J.C. Sent from my HTC

      • Not going nuclear, but you need to be very careful what you say to people. That kind of thing can raise red flags. Anyway, you were way off with your attempt at figuring out where I am, and clearly haven’t been paying attention to my posts. I’ve said time and time again I’m in the north of the UK, even given the name of the town, and I’m nowhere near Mexico or CA. And no, my knowledge isn’t vast, but I have spent a lifetime doing this stuff, and over the past couple of months have spent many cold, lonely hours looking for and photographing ISON itself, the real thing, not looking at a doctored photo, or watching a fake YouTube vid, so I think I’m a little more qualified to wrote about this comet than many, you know?

  46. I recommend you make an effort to understand the state of the art in NASA’s understanding of the interior of both Oort Comets (ISON, Hale-Bopp) and Kuiper Belt Comets (Halley). NASA is well beyond where you might think they are : watch CIOC presentation of Aug 20013 : It is already proven that Water is the predominant “non-organic volatile”. About all I can add to this is my attraction to the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model of Panspermia, where hyperbolic comets punch through the Oort Cloud and deliver not just water but the seeds of life.

  47. Comet ISON and Revelations Wormwood Prophecy
    By Jennifer Asad 7/24/13; Revision 7/29/13

    The name of one of the Russian discoverers of comet ISON translates to Wormwood and the name of the observatory where it was discovered means sour waters, being named after the town where the observatory is located. Christians and students of Revelations will recognize this coincidence immediately as a prophecy of End Times.

    The comet ISON was discovered September 21, 2012 (fall equinox) by two Russian Astronomers named Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok. Comets have always been named after its discoverers but this one was named after the telescope they used.

    Comet ISON is 3 miles wide with a tail of gas and dust almost 200 thousand miles long. Its orbit is estimated at 10 thousand years and said to be traveling 48,000 miles per hour; it is believed to be the first time it has entered our solar system, but who could really know these things? These unprecedented statistics is why 2013 has been called The Year of the Comet and ISON is being called the Comet of the Century. ISON is a Sun-Grazer, meaning its orbit swings it around the sun and back out again.

    It enters our solar system from the constellation of Orion between Taurus and Gemini and from the direction of the star Sirius, associated with the Egyptian deity Isis. Osiris would be the dead dwarf star that orbits her, whom she “gathered” from the regions after he was “cut into pieces” and strewn. She could not find his genitalia so fashioned a phallic out of which Horus was born. I have hypothesized that Horus is our sun having been born of Isis and Osiris. Walter Cruttenden at the Binary Research Center, and author of Lost Star, does a wonderful job of showing that our sun and Sirius are in an orbit around each other.

    In August ISON will be leaving Gemini and entering Cancer. From September into October, ISON will be sweeping across the constellation of Leo. It is calculated to pass by Mars on October 1st. It then passes through Virgo in November where it becomes visible to the naked eye for the first time.

    Let’s turn for a moment to end time prophecy as found in the book of Revelations chapter 12. In September 2011, a rare astrological event occurred where the sun clothed the constellation Virgo, moving down her left side as the moon moved into position at her feet. Meanwhile, the bright morning star Venus moved into her womb as the planet Saturn stood below. Saturn was also known as Chronos. In Greek myth, Saturn-Chronos eats his children as soon as they are born. There are seven rings or “crowns” of Saturn and it has multiple moons, which ancient stargazers could have attributed as heads and horns. Satan, that dragon, has long been associated with the malevolent planet Saturn. It is currently a yellow-orange but could have been red at one time.

    In Revelations, Jesus refers to himself as the bright morning star. Revelation 22:16~ I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

    In the following verses Virgo would be the woman with 12 stars in her crown because there literally are 12 stars there. Saturn is the dragon waiting to devour the child. This proves once again that the writer of Revelations was steeped in astronomy and astrology. He was also undoubtedly Greek.

    Revelations 12: A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. 5 And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
    ISON swings around the sun on November 28th, Thanksgiving Day. We think of Thanksgiving as an American holiday, but it has pagan origins (like all holidays). It is an ancient holiday of harvest. The holiday was dedicated to the goddess of harvest, Ceres, and the holiday was called Cerelia. This is where we get the word cereal. On its way back out, ISON comes closest to the Earth on December 26th, the day after Christmas, as things currently stand.

    The comet ISON could be very dangerous. It has to pass through our asteroid belt which could disturb things there. It could break apart and pose even more of a threat, or we could get hit by debris as we pass through the tail on its way out of our solar system. We certainly will be plummeted with its dust. It could dive into the sun and be destroyed. It could trigger solar flares. It could even have an energetic interaction as it conjuncts with Mars under the head of Leo from September 22 to mid-October. It could move from its projected path for any unseen reason. Or, it could be just a spectacular light show. It is very unpredictable.

    But, here is a shocker. I am one who likes to look at meanings of names. For example, Snowden with the help of Greenwald exposed the unconstitutional spying of the NSA sanctioned by the US government. Many of us are watching the series ‘Game of Thrones’. In the show, dire warning of perilous times ahead is given as the statement, “winter is coming”. A tremendous “wall” protects the land of lush green from the frozen wasteland full of zombies. Hence, we have the names Snowed-in and Green-walled sounding the alarm of treacherous times ahead. I have seen this type of name synchronicity many times. The wall could even represent being above or below the galactic plane; 6 golden ages of summer above it and 6 dark ages of winter below it.

    I decided to look up the meaning of the names of the two Russians who discovered ISON: Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok.
    The name of the first guy, Vitali, means life. His last name, Nevski, is an offshoot of Neva, which is a river in Russia and means “sea” or “water”. Therefore, the name of the first guy breaks down into “Vital or Living Waters”. In Latin, the meaning of Neva is radiance or brightness. In this case his name would mean “alive with radiant brightness”. Scientists are interested in ISON due to a study in how icy comets seed life throughout the universe. Without water there is no life.
    The name of the second guy is where it gets horrifying. The name Artyom originates from ARTEMISIOS and means WORMWOOD (a bitter herb). I will repeat that because it is worth driving home.
    The name of one of the Russian discoverers of this 3 to 4 mile wide comet with a 200,000 mile tail translates to WORMWOOD.

    Revelations 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell on the third part of the rivers, and on the fountains of waters; 11And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. 12And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
    It gets more ominous.

    The observatory from where the two Russians discovered this comet is named Kislovodsk Observatory. It is named after its location and Kislovodsk means Sour Waters. In fact, the telescope and Observatory is called in full ISON-Kislovodsk. And thus we have the phrase being equivalent to “comet of bitter waters”.
    The guys last name, Novichonok, was a little more difficult but shocking as well. Breaking the name into two parts, the first is Novi.

    Novi is also a familiar form of November. Remember, Comet ISON will be in Virgo in November when it first appears to the naked eye. It reaches the sun November 28th at a time when our sun should be in its solar maximum cycle. By this time ISON is expected to become as much as 15 times brighter than our moon due to passing through hot wind produced by regions along the sun’s equator.
    Oddly enough, in November ISON becomes visible to the Mercury-orbiting spacecraft named MESSENGER. The planet Mercury was considered to be the Messenger of the Gods because of its quick orbit.

    But, more bizarre still is that “Revelations” in Latin means “to reveal”. Written in an apocalyptic language, it was meant to reveal a message for the end times, an astrological message. How fitting that this spacecraft named MESSENGER circling the planet Mercury would deliver such a message to the world. This is why I find astrotheology so fascinating.

    In Abrahamic religions, Archangel Gabriel serves as the messenger of God. Gabriel is also known as the angel of “revelation”. It is Archangel Gabriel who blows a trumpet horn to wake the dead at the Last Judgement. Will ISON be trumpeting?

    Novi is also a variant of Nova. In Astronomy, a nova is a star that releases a tremendous burst of energy, becoming temporarily extraordinarily bright. It is believed that a Nova led the shepherds to baby Jesus. Matthew 2:2: “For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” Wise men of the bible were astronomers and astrologers.

    The second half of his name is Chonok = Searches on this word brings up Chinook which means a warm dry wind which blows down the east side of the mountains at the end of winter causing a rapid rise in temperature. Another name is Fohn (foehn) winds and means snow eater. As you know, the polar ice caps are melting and so are the glaciers, as sea levels rise. This planet, including the oceans, is warming. It is time to consider that it is not due to man’s presence alone.

    Carey Lisse at NASA said, “We estimate ISON is emitting about 2.2 million pounds of what is most likely carbon dioxide gas and about 120 million pounds of dust every minute,” and “we now know for sure the comet’s distant activity has been powered by gas.”

    On July 18th 2013 the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory captured images of the sun showing a very large corona hole on the sun. The sun’s corona is in yellow and the dark area is the corona hole. Corona holes represent open “magnetic field lines” that instead of falling back to the sun, heads out into space as fast solar wind particles blowing at a steady high speed.
    Scientists don’t know what causes coronal holes but are quick to tell you not to worry about it. Could this be a reaction to the presence of ISON? And what about the strange humming and sink holes happening around the world. Is the earth shaking?

    • I’m just going to leave this museum class display of utter, utter rubbish on for everyone else to see and shake their heads at. Best laugh I’ve had in ages, thank you.

  48. OMG, you guys… We’re talking about a comet (or two!) that has wandered into the solar system…

    As for the guy claiming someone is “locked out” of the Kingdom… Maybe you ought to read again what is said — you block the door to the Kingdom,but have not entered yourself!

    Neither comet in the visible range of our planet is anywhere near the planet, 1/2 A.U. is likely the closest.

    I did not come here for a religious discussion; I could talk the pants off both of you when it comes to the Bible. I came here for info on ISON. I understand, that ECKE is also within view; this is a rare occurrence. I come to gather viewing information, location, who has seen. I’m currently blocked view, clouds are still marring the sky, so I don’t get the view I hope. It appears that I will not, at least not until December.

    IF ISON survives passage, relatively unscathed or in pieces that are viewable, it’s going to be quite a sight. I think it was the Great Comet of 1884 that split into 4. ISON could very well have the same result.

    Please, folks…I plead with all of you…this is not the place for religious debate. And if our resident “prophet” wants to take a bet, I say nothing’s gonna happen when the comets of November and December fling past on the way out of the system.

    • Well, I’d love to just talk about comets here, and yes, it would be nice if everyone was as sensible as you, but sadly any big astronomical story – an asteroid, a comet, whatever – seems to bring the nutters, trolls and lunatics crawling out from under their stones, and these people, who often demonstrate with their rantings that they know absolutely nothing about astronomy, then try and take over everything and drown out the scientific discussion. I won’t have that on my blog. It takes a huge amount of time to write, and I didn’t set it up to be a cosy cave for Doomsday Preppers and trolls to gather in and spout their BS, nor did I set it up to be a cyber chapel for scientifically ignorant religious zealots to preach from. I hope that message is clear enough. And if anyone doesn’t agree with it, then they can just not come here, simple as that.

  49. My entire family is looking forward to meeting ISON, We have our telescope ready to gaze in wonder as we sit on the deck and watch, I hope she makes it around the sun and she does not burn up. Fingers crossed!

  50. I would encourage you to keep watching ISON on the varios NASA/ESA websites. STEREO and SOHO should be the best over the next 3 days – especially if it fragments due to the pressure of gravity, the solar wind and the extreme heat.

    • Are you kidding me? It’s now 10pm and I’ve been hitting refresh on those websites since 9am this morning…. 😉

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