Had ISON truly bitten the dust? While the comet may have taken a quite a beating at perihelion today, a remnant survives yet this evening. It looks dimmer than Antares at lower left – certainly not brighter than 2nd magnitude.The question is whether there’s enough material there to hold together long enough to show up in the dawn sky in a couple days. Just in case, I’ll prepare an observing chart tomorrow to help you anticipate the arrival of the ISON’s ghost.
A word of caution – don’t get your hopes too high just yet. We’ll have to see how much material remains and holds together in the coming hours to better gauge what to expect in a few days.
Also, take a look at this 30-image animation put together by Ian Musgrave of ISON rounding this sun this afternoon using pictures from SOHO’s C2 coronagraph. If you look closely at the bottom of the frame, you see the comet’s long tail disconnect just about the time the comet’s head disappears behind the occulting disk.