Heat is on as Comet ISON races toward sun

Nov 28, 2013
In this frame grab taken from enhanced video made by NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft, comet ISON, left, approaches the sun on Nov. 25, 2013. Comet Encke is shown just below ISON, The sun is to the right, just outside the frame. ISON, which was discovered a year ago, is making its first spin around the sun and will come the closest to the super-hot solar surface on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, at 1:37 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/NASA)

It's crunch time for a comet from the fringes of the solar system as it hurtles toward a close encounter with the sizzling sun.

Comet ISON is expected to get closest to the sun at 1837 GMT (1:37 p.m. EST) on Thursday.

At that point it will be only about 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) away from the sun's surface.

Scientists say it probably won't be visible from Earth except via fleet of NASA telescopes and spacecraft. But if ISON survives—and it will be a few hours before that's known—and returns past Earth, astronomers say it should be easily visible in the Northern Hemisphere early next month, just before sunrise and after sunset.

Explore further: Comet dances with sun, death; giving mixed signals

5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Q&A: Comet ISON

Nov 26, 2013

(Phys.org) —Don Yeomans, a senior research scientist at JPL, keeps a watchful eye on near-Earth objects—asteroids, comets and other space rocks. Yeomans heads a group charged by NASA to watch for objects ...

Recommended for you

Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy discovers new comet

16 hours ago

It's confirmed! Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy just discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). He found it August 17th using a Celestron C8 fitted with a CCD camera at his roll-off roof ...

Students see world from station crew's point of view

Aug 19, 2014

NASA is helping students examine their home planet from space without ever leaving the ground, giving them a global perspective by going beyond a map attached to a sphere on a pedestal. The Sally Ride Earth ...

Mars deep down

Aug 19, 2014

Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System's largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km.

User comments : 0