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Comet ISON a Disappointment???

August 9, 2013; 7:03 AM ET

According to Astronomer Dr. Ignacio Ferrin, an astronomer at the Physics and Astrophysics Computation Group (FACOM) at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, the "comet of the century (ISON)" has fizzled completely.

Dr. Ignacio Ferrin is a recognized cometary specialist and, using the latest observation available, said the brightness of the comet has not shown any increase up to the latest available observation.

This is fairly strange behavior for a comet, but this is similar to comet C/2002 O4 Hönig which remained with the same brightness for 52 days before it disintegrated. A difference is that ISON has been in this "stable" state for a much longer time, well over 100 days.

However, astronomers are not sure of how the comet is doing now, since it is currently hidden by the light of the sun and cannot be seen.

So, the moral of the story is that there a lot of questions and much uncertainty about how bright this comet will be and thus what kind of a show it will give the planet.

However, according to at least Dr. Ferrin, "The future of comet ISON does not look bright." I am sure this pun was intended!

Comet ISON image courtesy of NASA

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Astronomy Blog
The astronomy blog, by Mark Paquette, discusses stargazing and astronomy issues and how the weather will interact with current astronomy events.