Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Perihelion Day! Comet ISON and its brush with death.

Today, at 1:24:57pm Eastern time (18:24:57 UT) Comet ISON will be at its perihelion with the sun, meaning it’ll be at its closest with the sun for this orbit. ISON will be passing within 1.2-million kilometers (730,000 miles) of the Sun – close enough that ISON will actually enter the Sun’s corona, forcing it to endure temperatures of a million or so degrees (Celsius) for a few seconds. The comet will either survive it’s fiery pass or it’ll break up and be destroyed. Just after perihelion, ISON could brighten to a –4 magnitude or higher. For reference, Venus has an apparent magnitude of –4.9 at its brightest.

In case you are interested, you can actually watch ISON today as it makes a grazing pass with the Sun, but you have to be VERY careful because you don’t want go blind in the process. FQTQ has your back with our guide to viewing ISON throughout the day. For those of you interested, we"ll also be hosting a Hangout where you can watch the comet pass perihelion (and, maybe disintegrate in the process).

You can see an awesome GIF of ISON, learn how to safely view the comet and learn more about the Hangout here:

No comments:

Post a Comment