Perihelion & Distance: LIVE Information
Comet ISON (or what remains) is due to be closest to Earth on the 26th December, passing over the northern hemisphere at a distance of around 40,000,000 miles. See below for latest news.
Latest News - 2nd December: NASA are currently investigating what (if anything) is left of Comet ISON. If it has survived, there's no doubt that it's certainly not the comet it once was. It is yet to be established however if the flare like appearance of Comet ISON, seen in the images as it sped away from the Sun, were just a result of dust burning up or if the comet still has a small nucleus. The Hubble Space Telescope is due to make further observations in the coming weeks.
29th November: So what's actually happening now? Well nobody really seems to know just yet. Astronomy and news sites are buzzing with conflicting information which is making it hard to establish if Comet ISON is indeed 'dead' or 'alive'.
Yesterday at perihelion time (18:37 UTC), and for the first few hours afterwards, hopes were fading very fast that Comet ISON had survived its journey around the Sun. Images captured by solar observing spacecraft saw Comet ISON approaching perihelion as bright as had been expected, only for it to dim sharply before passing behind the Sun's disc.
Astronomers waiting for ISON to emerge out the other side, didn't see anything when expected, but then a faint trail of 'dust' was observed along Comet ISON's predicted path. This dust was thought to be the remaining pieces of Comet ISON's broken up nucleus and because nobody could see evidence of a nucleus, the Comet was announced by many as 'dead' (including this site)!
Just when all hope was lost, Comet ISON's remains suddenly started to brighten a little and then flare (almost like a match head) as seen here in this image by SOHO (Solar Observing Heliospheric Observatory).
If Comet ISON hadn't have dimmed, maybe everyone would be saying the 'Comet of the Century' looks healthy and should put on a good show in December. However, nobody wants to say for sure that Comet ISON has or hasn't survived, even though it's becoming increasingly likely that some of it has.
Data via NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.