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29 November 2013

C 2012/S1 ISON Comet suicide

Comet ISON, imaged by longtime amateur astrophotograper
Damian Peach in the U.K. He used a 17-inch telescope
for 12 minutes of combined exposures on November 15th.
Credit: Damian Peach/SkyandTelescope.com
28.11.2013 Comet ISON plunges to its death.
Astronomy CLub Toutatis here in Kustavi Finland is in mourning.

The Comet C/2012 S1 ISON was discovered on 21 September 2012 by Vitali Nevski (Виталий Невский, Vitebsk, Belarus) and Artyom Novichonok (Артём Новичонок, Konudopoga, Russia).

Comet ISON hype started a few months back and was getting momentum. As C/2012 S1 came to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 28 November 2013 at a distance of 0.0124 AU (1,860,000 km; 1,150,000 mi) from the center point of the Sun. Its trajectory was to close to the Sun and burned out.

Here at the club we anticipated its position in the sky, wanted to take telescopic photos of it, wide shot with its fabulous tail in the Sunset-Sunrise sky. Also Animations of the comet was in our plans. But guess what...
We are mourning. Lots of planning with no result. The only thing I can see a positive side to it, we saw a chunk of rock falling into the Sun, there sure is some science in that right?

Even if we didn't have no photographic results, the planning in its self was a great challenge and a valuable practice for our future observations.

So what have we learn here?
Preparation is never for nothing. We still learned a lot from a comet and now have a better grasp of other incoming comets in the near future. Personally it was great to follow this celestial body. Because of comet ISON i know now more about our solar system mechanics and for this reason I will never forget this name: Comet ISON.

Never forget this name:
The comet's formal designation is C/2012 S1. The "C" indicates that it is non-periodic, followed by the year of discovery. The "S" represents the half-month of discovery—in the case of C/2012 S1, the second half of September—and the number "1" shows that this was the first comet found in that half month. The comet is named "ISON" after the organization where its discovery was made, the Russia-based International Scientific Optical Network. The initial report of the object to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams identified the object as an asteroid, and it was listed on the Near Earth Objects Confirmation Page. Follow-up observations by independent teams were the first to report cometary features. Therefore, under the International Astronomical Union's comet-naming guidelines, the comet is named after the team that discovered it, rather than the individual discoverers.

Follow other links in the community about Comet C/2012 S1 ISON:
Elizabeth Howell on Universe Today.com
On Space Weather.com 
Google + The Space Community