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Sunday, November 03, 2013

Observers Puzzled by ISON's Strange Actions

Comet
Bruce Gary
Bruce Gary of Hereford, Ariz., obtained this a true color image of Comet ISON on Oct. 22, showing a greenish coma and reddish tail. The coma is now greener than the tail, which is also a result of the recent emission of gas to the coma.





Observers perplexed by Comet ISON's erratic performance





Nov. 1, 2013

Joe Rao, Space Com

Excerpts~

With just one month to go before its dramatic solar rendezvous, skirting to within a hairbreadth of the surface of the sun, Comet ISON continues to befuddle observers with its performance en route to the sun.

....
One step forward, one step backAround Oct. 19, ISON seemed to suddenly brighten at a more rapid pace. On Oct. 21, Arizona observer Bruce Gary (who was the first to image the comet after it emerged from out of the glare of the sun on Aug. 12) wrote, "The comet (coma plus tail) continues a dramatic brightening trend that started Oct 19. The inner coma has brightened (due perhaps to an outburst of gases). This next week could be busy - and exciting!" [Potentially Dazzling Comet ISON: 8 Essential Facts]


But just four days later, with the comet showing signs of fading a bit rather than brightening, Gary, sounding almost a bit exasperated commented, "I don't know what's going on with this comet!"
....
Looking weirdThe highly regarded comet observer John Bortle is just as perplexed by the comet's recent appearance, commenting that the recent images along with his own visual impression, is "downright weird." He adds that, "There is a bright, miniature, long-tailed comet situated within a much larger, but very much fainter and diffuse halo of a coma."
....
Time Running Out

Whatever is happening, Comet ISON continues on its way in toward the sun and crossed the Earth's orbit on Wednesday at 6 p.m. EDT. 

For the last couple of months, observers watching the comet brighten at what has seemed to be a frustratingly slow pace are still waiting for a more rapid brightening trend. That may still happen, but time is now running out; four weeks from Thursday will be the comet's moment of truth as it whips around the sun.

Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmer's Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, N.Y. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.


Contributing Sources:
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/observers-perplexed-comet-isons-erratic-performance-8C11512045

Something very STRANGE about ISON:

http://globalrumblings.blogspot.com/2013/11/something-very-strange-about-ison.html


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