ISON Heading for Sun

Comet ISON evolving. Credit: Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS)

Comet ISON evolving. Credit: Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS)

ISON has showing signs of activity lately, not that I would know thanks to poor skies, but in this excellent image from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research seems to confirm what I’ve been reading.

Now the question becomes: will ISON survive the trip around the sun which will be happening next week? I know I took issue with everyone that was predicting ISON’s demise months ago and I still do. The fact is simply even the experts do not know what is going to happen.

ISON if you didn’t know is considered a sungrazing comet.  Here’s a video explaining sungrazers.

I of course want the comet to survive, if it does it should be fairly easy to see. Imagine this too, should it survive ISON will most likely be flung out of the solar system never to return.

Here’s the press release from MPS:

One or more fragments may have detached from comet ISON in the past days, as two wing-shaped features in the comet’s atmosphere suggest.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany and the Wendelstein Observatory of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich (Germany) discovered these features in images taken at the end of last week. The fragmentation may offer an explanation for the comet’s recent outburst of activity.

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