Nov. 1, 2013
Joe Rao, Space Com
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.
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.
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 weird The 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 ….
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