Comet Ison Takes A Hit, But Still Part Intact - WKRN News 2

Comet Ison Takes A Hit, But Still Part Intact

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The comet ison made its rendezvous with the sun on Thanksgiving Day, but has baffled scientists on how much of its nucleus has remained intact.

On Thursday, experts first said it had been destroyed, but then hours later began to say that there was still something remaining of the comet.

If it did not get "cooked" too much in its close encounter with the sun, it was predicted to be quite a sight in the December morning sky (to the naked eye).

However, it did lose some of its punch.  But how much?

That's still up for speculation, and I guess we will find out during the next week.

In this animation from NASA's SOHO spacecraft, it definitely is not nearly as bright when it exits the sun as it was when entering:

http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/9-small-bodies/2013/20131128_ison_lasco-c2_20131129_0013_c2_1024.gif

However, in another animation, from a different spacecraft called "STEREO Behind", it is quite bright, even showing two tails at one point:

http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/9-small-bodies/2013/20131129_ison_cor2-b_20131129_083900_dbc2B.gif

The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawala speculates the geometry of the different view makes dust more visible.

BTW, these animations are FASCINATING! Besides the comet, look at the ejections from the sun!

Many experts think that we will still get to see something with the naked eye, though maybe not as bright as it would have been.

Below is what was expected  BEFORE the comet took the hit:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/view-comet-ison-infographic_n_4325076.html

The trajectory should be about the same.  The question is: How bright it will be?

See http://www.spaceweather.com/ 

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