November 28-December 8, 2013

South Bend, Indiana

Comet Disappears and Reappears Twice (Hopefully)

Posted by chuck // May 23, 2013 // in Planning // 0 Comments

Comet ISON is disappearing from view, but don't be distressed about it quite yet.  Since its discovery in 2012, Comet ISON has been the target of professional and amateur astronomers alike, most notably cooperating for the NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign (NASA_CIOC).  Many of these early images, with some of them beginning to tramadol 50mg tabs show hints of cometary features, can be viewed at the NASA_CIOC Group. The banner image, above, shows Comet ISON on May 2, 2013, taken remotely from the Liverpool Telescope, courtesy of Nick Howes and Ernesto Guido.  However, the observers are noting the comet is slowly dropping toward the generic viagra generic levitra horizon in the evening sky, and soon major observatories will have to defer to smaller, more flexible telescopes to get final glimpses.

svs-ISONopposition.pngThe problem is that the earth is orbiting the sun and is about to go around the side, opposite the approaching comet.  The intervening sun causes too much glare when viewed from earth, so we have to wait until earth travels for a few months until the comet appears separated from the sun.  Then ISON will be visible in the eastern sky, west of and preceding the buy generic crestor sun in the morning twilight.

The video Comet ISON Orbital Path through the Constellations by Kometeninfos combines NASA-made animations of cheap tramadol cod ISON's orbit paired with its own earthbound perspective of looking toward the sun from 50 degrees north latitude.  Faint red crosshairs indicate the position of distant ISON, and the sun is kept slightly above the horizon for clarity.  To actually observe in the real sky, you have to imagine the whole scene dropped down slightly so the sun is out of view. 

youtube-orbitalpath.pngBreaking down the buy uk viagra video, it opens in March 2013 with the comet to the right of the sun and well separated as you look at night to the northwest.  As days pass, the background stars and the comet appear to visit our site shift relative to the sun.  By mid-June, the comet appears close to the sun (think of it as the sun being in front of the comet), and astronomers have to suspend the observing campaign.  These become anxious times as everyone pursues his/her other normal duties and wonders how the earth moving in its orbit at over 67,000 miles per hour could seem so slow. 

A break in the video at 0:30 resumes with us looking to the northeast morning sky in August.  The hunt is back on.  As earth moves around the sun, the comet and online tramadol prescription background stars seem to move left of superactive levitra the sun.  On October 1, Comet ISON zips over Mars, from which spacecraft investigating the generic cialis next day Red Planet may get a shot at imaging the passer-by.  The public interest is cheap cialis without a prescription rising, as modest telescopes may begin to track the comet with a distinct tail at public observing sessions.  Sidewalk astronomy thrives.  By mid-November (about 0:43 on video) Comet ISON is rapidly diving toward the sun, and it soon gets too close again for earth based observers. 

Now is when it gets really interesting.  Different scientific models yield different results for comet brightness in close to the sun.  Dan Fischer proposed three scenarios based on three sets of standard assumptions.  The unequivical statement from astronomers, however, is that we don't know how bright it will be, as noted in an earlier article Comet Brightness Difficult to Predict.  Wait and see.  

nasa_cion_lightcurve-May.jpgA light curve from NASA_CIOC plots the comets actual brightness (red data points) made by observers to viagra without prescription online date along a predicted trajectory.  NASA_CIOC notes, "We will update this plot from time-to-time, but keep in mind that observations become sparse when the comet is at solar elongations less than ~45-degrees (meaning it is in the region of the sky close to the Sun). We've indicated this on the plot with the dark gray vertical bars."  Gray is downtime.

There is a possibility that we could still see the comet's central coma near the buy levitra viagra online sun, yet in the daytime sky, if ISON zooms in brightness near perihelion, its closest approach on Thanksgiving Day.  But that requires ISON not to be destroyed, for the comet to become super bright, and for the observer to be skilled enough to view a near-sun object safely.  Don't hold your breath.  As noted at the NASA_CIOC page in May 2013, "The CIOC Team believe that ISON's peak brightness (which will occur in the few hours surrounding perihelion) could be anywhere from magnitude -7 to +5 or more, though our current educated guesses are hovering around -3 to -5."  That translates into from-anywhere-faint-to-somewhat-bright-but-not-dazzling-brilliant. Hardly a daytime spectacle.

Notice how fast Comet ISON appears to whip around the sun on November 28, 2013.  Then give it some days to move away from the sun's glare.  TISONsunriseDec1-horiz.pnghe comet's tail, which flows outward from the sun, might be visible several days before the head of the comet if the tail extends far and is bright.  From the perspective of the Comet Festival in South Bend, Indiana, around 42 degrees of latitude, the comet's tail would be standing somewhat upward from the sun, helping observers see at least part of the (hopefully) surviving comet.  Each successive day it moves left of the sun above the horizon slightly as it heads toward the northern starfield.

For purposes of planning for the Comet Festival, take note that we may not even be best prices for levitra able to see the comet itself during the official festival dates of levitra for women November 28-December 8.  Fortunately, the vagaries of a comet interacting with the sun are not the stick by which we will measure the success of the Comet Festival.  Rather, we celebrate science and embrace the cheap tramadol uncertainty of the comet's outcome, for better or for worse. 

Remember, the video depicts Comet ISON from the higher latitude of 50 degrees, so for that location ISON dips out of view below the horizon.  You can follow ISON over time from South Bend, disappearing and reappearing, by stepping through the admittedly rapid video Comet ISON in evenings and mornings, May-December.   Again, the sun is depicted above the horizon for clarity, but this time the camera is centered on Comet ISON the whole time for both film clips. 

youtube-Fahrplan.pngOn December 26, 2013, ISON zips over the earth, but at a comfortable distance of almost 40 million miles.  Another video by Dan Fischer entitled Zur Bahn des canadain online pharmacies viagra Kometen ISON (C/2012 S1) - Video 3 shows the view of ISON as one locks in on generic levitra mastercard the sun over several months.  As earth moves around in its orbit, again the comet and background stars shift.  Around 1:25 in this video, ISON glides over earth and moves through the north circumpolar stars, though it's brightness is vastly reduced and indian cialis it is again a telescopic object. 

We then watch Comet ISON fade into darkness, remembered either as a rewarding visitor or as a disappointment that engenders scorn, as suggested in the poem Waiting for ISON by Stuart Atkinson.  For the umpteenth time we say, "Wait and see."

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