View larger. | Gerald Rhemann in Namibia in SW Africa captured this photo of Comet ISON on November 21, 2013, one week before its encounter with the sun. Visit Gerald’s website Sky Vistas. Used with permission.
Comet ISON is now inside the orbit of Mercury. It’s on the last leg of its journey sunward, a journey that began at least a million years ago.At least a million Earth-years ago, the icy chunk we know as Comet C/2012 S1 ISON began its journey sunward from the Oort Cloud surrounding our solar system. Comet ISON will reach its perihelion – closest point to the sun – on Thursday, November 28, 2013. One week beforehand, on November 21, Gerald Rhemann in Namibia in southwestern Africa captured this beautiful photo of ISON, now in the last leg of its long journey. Details of the photo are:
Date: 21.11.2013 UT 02h49mThank you, Gerald!
Location: Farm Tivoli, Namibia/SW Africa
Telescope: ASA 12″ N f 3.8 Astrograph
Camera: FLI ML 8300
Mount: ASA DDM85
Exposure time: LRGB 3/2/2/2 min.
ISON is considered a sun-diving comet. At its closest, it will skim very close to the sun, just 724,000 miles (1,165,000 km) above the sun’s surface.
If Comet ISON is able to sweep past the sun and head back toward the outer solar system again without breaking up, it may become visible to the eye alone in the predawn sky in early December.
Everything you need to know: Comet ISON in 2013
Close pairing of Saturn and Mercury dawn November 25 and 26