September 2013

The first papers about Comet ISON are beginning to appear

We quietly rolled out a new page on the CIOC website recently: publications. You can navigate to it from anywhere on the site from the “Comet ISON” tab then selecting “Publications” from the drop down menu. Why am I bringing your attention to this page? Well, for one, I have a paper there that I want people to read ☺ But also, because there are already some interesting ideas about what has been going on with ISON and what will happen soon.

How Bright is Comet ISON?

The CIOC frequently gets asked how bright Comet ISON will be at a particular time in the future. Our standard response is that comets, especially ones entering the inner solar system for the first time (like ISON), behave unpredictably and it is therefore impossible to reliably predict what ISON will do. What we don’t often mention is that it is actually rather difficult to say conclusively how bright ISON or any other comet is right now!

You are probably saying to yourself “That’s ridiculous. Just take an image and measure how bright it is!” If only it were that easy…

Show Me The Data!

Time for another blog post in response to a thousand questions!

OK, it's not a thousand questions, but over the past two days we have received numerous remarkably similar- if not almost identical - questions, so I think that makes it worthy of a blog post. Here's the gist of the question: where are the latest NASA images of Comet ISON?