Hopes are high for Comet ISON, which has the potential to become the most spectacular comet seen in years. ISON is speeding through the inner solar system at about 120,000 miles per hour, on its way to a close approach to the Sun on November 28th. Assuming it survives its close encounter, it could become easily visible to the unaided eye in dawn skies.
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON ahead of its anticipated pass through the inner solar system later this year.
A comet’s journey through the solar system is perilous and violent. A giant ejection of solar material from the sun could rip its tail off. Before it reaches Mars - at some 230 million miles away from the sun - the radiation of the sun begins to boil its water, the first step toward breaking apart.
A new series of images from Gemini Observatory shows Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) racing toward an uncomfortably close rendezvous with the Sun. In late November the comet could present a stunning sight in the twilight sky and remain easily visible, or even brilliant, into early December of this year.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has offered astronomers their clearest view yet of Comet ISON, a newly-discovered sun grazer comet that may light up the sky later this year, or come so close to the Sun that it disintegrates.
Astronomers from the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP) and Lowell Observatory have deployed NASA's Swift satellite to explore comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), which may become one of the most dazzling in decades when it rounds the sun later this year.