It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
COMET ISON DIES ... AGAIN: Comet ISON is fading fast as it recedes from the sun. Whatever piece of the comet survived the Thanksgiving flyby of the sun is now dissipating in a cloud of dust. Click to view a 3-day movie centered on perihelion (closest approach to the sun):
This development makes it unlikely that Comet ISON will put on a good show after it exits the glare of the sun in early December. Experienced astrophotographers might be able to capture the comet's fading "ghost" in the pre-dawn sky, but a naked-eye spectacle can be ruled out.
On Nov. 29th, pilot Brian Whittaker tried to catch a first glimpse of Comet ISON from Earth, post-perihelion, from a plane flying 36,000 feet over the Arctic Circle in northern Canada. No luck:
"Ideal viewing conditions from the Arctic revealed no Comet ISON," reports Whittaker. "This negative report is to quench the thirst of other fellow dreamers under cloudy skies or further south. Later I could see that SOHO showed the comet dimming further."
Despite Whittaker's negative result, it is too soon to rule out observations from Earth as the twice-dead comet moves away from the glare of the sun. Meanwhile, NASA's fleet of solar observatory will be tracking the remains. Stay tuned for more images.
If the comet lost substantial mass on its pass around the sun, and that's a big if, how does that affect its trajectory? Originally it was supposed to come within something like 40 million miles of Earth. Would it get closer or farther away?