Astronomy Blog

Share |

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

You can leave your comments, as well as be part of a community where discussions on any astronomy subject, when you join AccuWeather's Astronomy Facebook fanpage by clicking here. We are now well over 26,000 likes. Tell your friends about this site and blog and have them weigh in on some exciting issues. We encourage open discussion and will never criticize any idea, and no negative conversation will be allowed.

The experts on this Facebook page will keep you up to date on any astronomy-related subject. Please feel free to share your opinions.

And please keep the astronomy pictures coming. They have been simply amazing. Ask questions, share comments, share anything.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

Comments

Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Astronomy Weather Blog

  • Friday Night Northern Lights

    September 12, 2014; 10:08 AM ET

    Stargazers could be in for a rare display Friday night as an Earth-directed solar flare ignites the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, in the United States.

About This Blog

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