Zee Media Bureau/Liji Varghese
New Delhi: According to astronomers, Comet ISON which showed signs of revival after initially being declared dead post its close encounter with the sun on Thanksgiving is fading out fast.
ISON which made its closest approach to the sun on Thursday, November 28, eluded observations, leaving solar scientists believe that the comet had indeed disintegrated and vaporised due to the intense solar heat.
Continuing with its history of surprise behaviour, hours later, the brightened up comet appeared to resurface on wide-angle views from the space agency’s SOHO spacecraft.
However, the excitement was short lived, as by Sunday, December 1, the comet appeared so dim that scientists feel the encounter must have indeed disintegrated the nucleus and what was visible must have been just the loose pile of rubble.
The hope of seeing the comet with naked eyes in the Northern Hemisphere skies in early December has also come to an end.
ISON comes from Oort cloud, a loose nebulous sphere containing billions of icy, rocky objects on the very edge of the Solar System, where it has been for the last 4.6 billion years. It entered the field of view of the HI-1 camera on NASA`s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, on November 21, 2013.
The comet was discovered in September 2012 by two amateur astronomers using Russia’s International Scientific Optical Network, or ISON, which is how the comet was named.