Comet ISON Update Nov. 28 – End May Be Near

A fading Comet ISON arcs around the sun in this SOHO C2 coronagraph picture taken at 11:40 a.m. CST. Compare this picture to the one below. Credit: NASA/ESA

The end may be near for Comet ISON. The latest images show a rapidly shrinking head and even fading along the length of its tail. Yikes! So far, no amateur astronomers, even those with advanced setups, have recorded the comet in daylight. I’ve also not been able to see it in the Solar Dynamics closeup video.

Comet ISON at 10:18 a.m. today. It’s quite a bit brighter than the photo above taken a little more than an hour after. Credit: NASA/ESA

Take a look at the photos for yourself. The comet appears to be disintegrating. Here’s hoping we might see something when it emerges on the other side of the sun.

Comet ISON at 11:48 a.m. in the C2 coronagraph view from SOHO. Compare to image below shot at 12:24 p.m. right at perihelion. Credit: NASA/ESA
SOHO C2 coronagraph view of ISON at 12:24 p.m. CST at perihelion today. Notice how quickly the tail is fading. Credit: NASA/ESA
Comet ISON’s tail emerging at 1:36 p.m. CST, a little more than an hour after perihelion this afternoon photographed by SOHO’s C2 coronagraph. Credit: NASA/ESA

UPDATE 2 p.m. CST: New photo from SOHO shows a trace of the comet after it rounded the sun. It appears that ISON has lost its head (disintegrated) during the close graze with the sun.

19 Responses

  1. Dave Gallant

    Not looking too good….it didn’t show up on SDO feeds at all. Twitter is abuzz with many condolences to ISON. Ah well…I’m sure there will be another one that comes around (pun intended).

  2. Edward M. Boll

    We still have Lovejoy. It would not hurt for one to go out tomorrow and see what may have been. But, unless ISON pulls a near miracle, it looks like this is it. Panstaarrs should be a nice binocular sight this Summer.

    1. astrobob

      I’ll keep tracking and see what might show up. Next chance we might see a remnant will be around Dec. 1-3.

  3. Elizabeth

    Wait!! This was from “The Universe” Facebook page.

    Comet Ison – something has survived!

    Comet Ison made its close approach to the sun at just after 1800 UTC today (a little over 3 hours ago). Orbiting observatories and telescopes based on Earth were able to monitor it until about 1800 UTC when most observers lost it.

    All the eyes of the solar observing fleet were trained on where Ison was supposed to be, including the twin Stereo spacecraft, SOHO, and SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory). The Stereo spacecraft and Soho were able to see Ison until about 1800 UTC, but all of the observatories lost it as it entered. It looked to every observer like it was gone.

    That was…until a few minutes ago, when Stereo and Soho images started showing quite clearly that “Something has survived!”

    We can’t tell what exactly has emerged from the sun; something is intact based on the LASCO image (an instrument on Soho). STEREO sees the same thing – its image is on the left. Something continues to produce a tail right now, some remnant of Ison has survived.

    I can’t tell you how big this chunk is, I can’t tell you what it’s made of, but something is coming out of the sun right now. The reports of Ison’s death may not be entirely exaggerated…this could be but a shard of the original comet…but something is still there.


  4. Dominik


    Sorry for that but this really makes me sad. ISON should have been the comet of the century and now this. Many millions, and I’m sure the numbers quite go into the millions, have been looking forward to a great show in December. I guess ISON was just too small. I’m thinking back to about one year ago when I read rumours that ISON might potentially become as bright as the moon and that he would be visible during daytime aswell.
    I was so super happy and excited.
    There better be a 40 kilometer comet on its way to the sun!
    Requiescat in pace ISON….

  5. Nick

    I would love to see the January 14th (?) meteor shower that could materialize from the debree left behind on it’s way in.

    Comet Ison lives on!

  6. Emmanuel Kongiu

    Hello Bob
    I’ve been following you for more than a year now, I love your astroblog, it’s so inspiring and makes me love and appreciate our wonderful Universe!
    T H A N K Y O U !

    As to comet ISON I have a question:
    are there any pictures of comet ISON approaching the Sun taken from the ISS?

    1. astrobob

      Thank you very much Emmanuel. I think there may be pictures of it from the ISS but I have not seen a single one yet.

    2. astrobob

      Thank you very much Emmanuel. I have not heard or seen photos of ISON taken from the ISS. If I find out, I’ll share them here.

  7. Edward M. Boll

    I just checked the ISON tracker. It has it at magnitude -4.0. Oh, for what might have been. Good bye ISON.

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