Spectacular video: Comet ISON imaged from a Langrange point in space

NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, is monitoring Comet ISON as it approaches the sun. NASA’s twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft are parked in Langrange zones, known as the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points, each centered about 93 million miles away along Earth’s orbit.

The latest movie from the STEREO-A spacecraft’s Heliospheric Imager shows the comet moving in from the left side over a two-day period from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2013.

In addition to Earth and Mercury, Comet Encke can also be seen moving through the middle of the view. The sun sits outside the field of view of this camera, located to the right, off-screen, hinted at by the steady stream of particles, called the solar wind, moving in from the right. Watch.

 

In addition NASA’s Messenger spacecraft snapped new images of Comet ISON on Nov. 19 as the icy object sped by Mercury at a distance of 22.5 million miles. Meanwhile, the agency’s sun-studying Stereo-A probe captured its own ISON photo on Nov. 21, and a phalanx of other solar space observatories will watch the comet’s close encounter with the sun on Thursday, which will bring it within just 730,000 miles of the solar surface.

Will it be toast? We’ll find out soon enough.

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On a side note, and in full spirit of shameless self-promotion, to this day I cannot find any mention of the word “greenhouse” in NASA’s planetary atmosphere’s website (using Google).
http://omnologos.com/why-the-nasa-planetary-atmospheres-website-doesnt-mention-greenhouse-gases/
This very important topic doesn’t seem to have interested any planetary scientist for a long long time.

oops…I mean…no mention but the one proposal that is, from 13 years ago
http://pds-atmospheres.nmsu.edu/data_and_services/nasa_abstracts/PATM/Fy01/Bullock-01-091.html
modelling one billion years, no less

Psalmon

Spectacular. Under a million miles, now that, I’ll agree, is some serious climate change.

David

The STEREO spacecraft are not parked at the Lagrange points. They’re orbiting the sun with orbits of 346 and 388 days. Actually they are now moving closer together on the far side of the sun, and will cross behind the sun sometime in 2015.

@njsnowfan

Anthony What is that moving in back of Comet Ison From up to down and curves some.?? Another Comet? Would be first time I have see two in one loop.
Spaceship enterprise?? lol
Thanks Great Video..
REPLY: as explained in the text “In addition to Earth and Mercury, Comet Encke can also be seen moving through the middle of the view. ” – Anthony

@njsnowfan

I did not read you entire post, Comet Encke. Two Comets in one Video is awesome .

Konrad.

It looks very like Comet ISON is about to become Comet ICARUS.

Fake
REPLY: No, it isn’t, and you have no basis for claiming so – Anthony

Mark Hladik

Spaceweather.com is speculating that the nucleus of ISON is showing characteristics of a disintegration.

Bill Illis

Comet Ison will be viewable on the Lasco C3 viewer starting on November 27 and then Lasco C2 on November 28th. It will take the path shown below just grazing the Sun’s surface for a few hours on November 28th (some of other Sun satellites might be able to track it in the close approach when C2 is masked out).
http://www.isoncampaign.org/files/images/ison_lasco_Nov.jpg
It might look as spectacular as Comet Neat in 2002 except Comet Ison will get much, much closer than Neat.
http://minorplanetcenter.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Comet-C2002-V1-NEAT-in-LASCO-C3.gif
Go to the “The Sun Now” at this link to watch it – use the MPEG Movie animator (note the direct links don’t seem to work properly from this site so a few extra clicks required here).
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/

Not doubting anything but things are unclear to me. Lagrange points, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point
Now if I look from L4 or L5 to the Earth, I can imagine that the sun is just offset to the right, I wonder though what I fail understand how did Mercury -optically- got outside the orbit of the earth?

Very cool. Solar flares reaching out into our and ISON’s space… oh what is that moving dot of light that stars above ISON’s path and ends up below it as ISON passes it?

Jquip

Groovy video, thanks for sharing it.

dp

The satellites are in free orbit at about the same distance from the sun as is the Earth (1 AU) but traveling at different speeds than the Earth. They’re not locked at any L points and in fact are nearly behind the sun now. They won’t be able to follow the comet as it rounds the sun but it’s a hell of a nice show now. The satellite pair are currently observing 4 comets but not all are in the same frame as ISON and Encke.

Mike Bromley the Kurd

Mark and two Cats says:
November 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm
Fake
REPLY: No, it isn’t, and you have no basis for claiming so – Anthony
And what’s more, the CME that roars by causes ISON to wag its tail. Stupendous!

I don’t understand. This is a great video and most interesting. But some dude took time to post here and simply say “fake”. What is up with that? Unless it was a “snarky” comment or a /sarc tag was forgotten; then it may have been one of the dumbest comments seen here in awhile.
I would like to say that even though I am a cat lover/owner and my first name is the same — all that is coincidence!

Oh, Comet Encke is the other moving object! Very cool. Stupendous is an appropriate word for the CME indeed. Wowza!

geran

wonder if the comet abides by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law….

Martin 457

Just thinking here;
The sun vaporizes it but, the cloud doesn’t disperse.
Could it reform when the cloud leaves the solar influences?

Bill B

When I watch the video, it looks like the comet’s tail is waving upand down. Wht would cause that.

I really hope it makes it by the sun. The last few comets have really duds.

Anything is possible

A couple of links here for anyone who wants to follow ISON’s plunge to a possible fiery death :
http://www.cometison2013.co.uk/perihelion-and-distance/
http://www.solarsystemscope.com/ison/

Irving C.Sheldon Jr.

Anathema says:
Mercury’s orbit appears to be outside Earth;\’s because of the perspective from the satellite. Earth is more distant than Mercury, in fact on the far side of the sun.

dp says November 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm
The satellites are in free orbit at about the same distance from the sun as is the Earth (1 AU) but traveling at different speeds than the Earth. They’re not locked at any L points

Que?
Per the linked NASA webpage above:
– – – – – – – – –
L4 and L5 are among the special points in our solar system around which spacecraft and other objects can loiter. They are where the gravitational pull of a nearby planet or the sun balances the forces from the object’s orbital motion. Such points closer to Earth are sometimes used as spaceship “parking lots”, like the L1 point a million miles away in the direction of the sun.
They are officially called Libration points or Lagrangian points after Joseph-Louis Lagrange, an Italian-French mathematician who helped discover them. L4 and L5 are where an object’s motion can be balanced by the combined gravity of the sun and Earth.
– – – – – – – – –

justaknitter

I thought and thought, until my thinker was sore. But, I finally got my mind around the point of view that would lead to a picture that makes it appear that the Earth is closer to the sun than Mercury.
If you had no depth perception an you were watching a baseball game from left center field it would appear that second base was closer to home than first base.

Mark and two Cats said:
November 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm
Fake
REPLY: No, it isn’t, and you have no basis for claiming so – Anthony
——————————————————
Yes I do: Lewandowski said that, as I am not a warmunist, I must therefore believe the moon landing was a fake, etc. Cuz I am a skeptic, I am motivated to reject science doncha know.
(sorry, thought my joke was so obvious it didn’t need a /sarc tag)

ossqss

Drama on a different scale?
Makes me wonder what portion of a pixel am I in that video? (•¿•)

Mac the Knife

OK – THAT was way cool! The tail ‘wags’ like sea grass in a current. Down stream eddy effects from the solar wind?

John Andrews

OK, Mark, we forgive you, but remember, there is no body language on the internet. You really have to spell it out.
Great post, Anthony.

paulhan

Wow, if it survives, it looks like it will come to its closest point to Earth on Jan 6th.
http://stereo-ssc.nascom.nasa.gov/comet_ison/

———————- Mercury
Camera ————————————————— Earth
————————-Sun
For those who are still having a bit of trouble getting the geometry there.

NikFromNYC

Oh wow, much nicer than the oppressively boring entrance to NASA GISS tonight, fifteen minutes ago, next to Tom’s Diner, where evidently there’s a computer terminal or two upstairs, in a boring residential building off campus, one that not one in a thousand locals even knows exists, not enen the the tourists.
http://s6.postimg.org/54mao14hd/image.jpg

@WUWT
> (STEREO) spacecraft are parked in Langrange zones,
> known as the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points, each centered about
> 93 million miles away along Earth’s orbit.
Anthony,
That information is not correct. The STEREO spacecraft are not parked in L4 and L5, but did pass through those points back in September and October 2009.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stereo/news/gravity_parking.html (Note date in upper right corner)
Actually, these spacecraft are currently far away from L4 and L5, on the other side of the Sun:
http://stereo-ssc.nascom.nasa.gov/where.shtml
😐

Bill Jamison

I seen some credible reports that ISON has likely broken up. I really hope those reports are wrong. I’ve been waiting for ISON to put on a spectacular display for almost a year now.

noaaprogrammer

The CME wagging Ison’s tail made it look like a sperm.

Call me skeptical, but why is this spectacular? This was supposed to be the comet of the century. So far, it’s a dud. Maybe this dud falsifies the establishment theory of comets.
The electrical theory of comets better describes this behavior and the behavior of all comets.
http://www.holoscience.com/wp/deep-impact-2/

F. Ross

Fantasmad&$ngorical movie clip. Thanks Anthony.
I sure hope ISON survives its [rendezvous] with the sun.

F. Ross

ten lashes for incorrect spelling >>>>rendezvous

RACookPE1978

Konrad. says:
November 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm
It looks very like Comet ISON is about to become Comet ICARUS.

No problem … Under Obama, NASA will never recognize gas-fueled automobiles.
If Comet ISON breaks up, the parts simply become IISON, IIISON, IVSON, VSON, VISON, etc. …..
Of course, VISON will be the easiest to see, and thus the most deer of all.
But looking for IVSON will always be like looking for a needle in the haystack.
But NASA is becoming trying to be gender-neutral, and so ISON may spawn IDAUGHTER if it breaks exactly in two; and then if those break up we’ll see IGRANDCHILDI, IGRANDCHILDII, IGRANDCHILDIII, IGRANDCHILDIV, ….

Clyde

That was really cool. Thanks for posting it.
Now somebody go find Leif Svalgaard & tell him to make the two comets collide. 🙂
Just kidding Mr Leif S. Don’t yell at me.

There was a filament released CME tonight seen on Stereo Behind COR2. And it appears to be heading right at ISON. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=677267202313143&set=vb.178186248887910&type=2&theater
Will be cool to watch for a disintegrating tail!

dp

_Jim says:
November 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Visit this page and get a picture of where L4 and L5 are.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point
Now go to this site and see where STEREO A and B are now:
http://stereo-ssc.nascom.nasa.gov/where.shtml
It is physically impossible for A or B to be locked at L4 or L5.

Swiss Bob

Sky was clear over Geneva last couple of days, can’t see it during the day but at sunset it’s brighter than Venus. I tool my telescope out of storage for a look, couldn’t resolve to anything more than a blob but it still looked intact last night, approx fourteen hours ago.
A bit disappointing, as another poster pointed out, it’s always ‘comet of the century’ and it’s always a disappointment. I guess if it survives its journey around the Sun we might see something, I will live in hope.

“icy object”?
Didnt the one comet we’ve tested (Tempel 1, iirc) seem to be more solid than ice?
We have only one data point, and it is contrary to our theory, which is supposedly enough to falsify a theory, yet we hold to our theory? Is that how science is done by skeptics?
I know it’s cold in space, but you were making a reference to the object’s component elements, weren’t you?

H.R.

My goodness! Technology has certainly improved since Stonehenge times. They would have sacrificed any number of virgins for a satellite or two. Fantastic video.

Bill Illis

Ison is showing up on Lasco C3 now. Looks to be a little smaller than expected so far.
But there also a large CME blowing out right at. Although it may just be a coincidence, there are often CMEs associated with comets.
http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/index.html/

@Anthony
> Spectacular video: Comet ISON imaged from a Langrange point in space
Hello, Earth to Anthony, can you hear us? Your title is wrong. Please re-read the NASA link you posted and note the date in the upper right corner of the page: “04.09.09”
So, back in 2009, the STEREO A and B spacecraft did pass through the L4 and L5 Lagrange points. But they didn’t park and just continued to move around the Sun to points where they are now, on the other side of the Sun.
You need to post an UPDATE on this. 😐

… also note spelling of “Lagrange” (French, “the barn”), not “Langrange” 😐

justaknitter says:
November 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm

If you had no depth perception an you were watching a baseball game from left center field it would appear that second base was closer to home than first base.

Very good analogy. Good thinking!

beng

Astronomy is always interesting, but the only naked-eye comet that really impressed me was unheralded/unexpected Comet Hyakutake in 1996.