Is Comet Ison Dead As Been Reported By The Media?
As BBC reported:
Telescopes spoted the comet ison crashing behind the sun and turning to a dust.
Astronomers continue to search for the object, but it is almost certain the much vaunted “Comet of the Century” has gone out with a whimper.
Because of its big size, the comet was probably melt directly when it reached the sun because of its immense heat.
Prof Tim O’Brien, associate director of Jodrell Bank, UK, said: “The nucleus has gone very faint, which you wouldn’t expect.
“We can’t be sure – but it’s not looking good. We’ll have to keep watching.”
Ison had captivated skywatchers with its promise all year. it is unique because it is the first sun-grazing comet ever observed from the Oort Cloud, a vast region of comets and debris near the edge of the solar system, far beyond the outermost planets. It is also one of the largest sun-grazing comets ever observed.
A “fresh” object flung in towards the inner Solar System from its home far beyond the outer planet Neptune, it was hoped it might produce a brilliant tail that would arc across the night sky, perhaps for weeks.
And, as it got closer and closer to the Sun, its ices did indeed begin to vaporise, releasing dust that shimmered in a distinctive trailing stream.
But from early on, it was clear Ison was unlikely to be spectacular; it was just not brightening in the way people had hoped.
This led scientists to fear for its survival when it eventually grazed past the star at a distance of just 1.2 million km at 18:35 GMT on Thursday.
The European and and US space agencies’ Sun-watching Soho satellite observed Ison approach, and sweep, behind the Sun, but then fail to come back around. Minutes after the comet should have reappeared, the Soho images showed nothing.
Other telescopes such as Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory could see nothing, either.
Passing close to the Sun, Ison would have been subjected to temperatures up to abut 2,000C. And the immense gravity of the star would also have pulled and squeezed on the object as it tumbled end of end.
All the evidence suggests Ison’s nucleus was simply torn apart.
See the graphic:
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Information source: BBC