Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Comet Ison Oct 6, 2013

Click on image for larger view

Comet Ison, pictured here in the early morning sky of October 6, is expected to be visible to the unaided eye in November and possibly a very bright comet after it goes around the Sun on November 25th. The image was taken through my Orion 190mm Maksotuv-Newtonian telescope. Twenty two images, each 2 minutes long, were taken and combined to create the image. At the time it was not an easy object to view visually, but could be seen at the eyepiece of a telescope. 

The green color you see in the comet is normal. The color is created when subatomic particles from the solar wind strike the gas (coma) surrounding the nucleus of the comet. Molecules of cyanogen and diatomic carbon are excited and made to glow, just like the gas in a fluorescent lamp glows when electricity excites it. The tail of the comet is also made up of gas and dust being pushed by the same solar wind.

As it gets closer to the Sun, the coma will get larger and the tail longer and more prominent. Even though it is fainter then expected at this time, if we are lucky, comet Ison will hopefully put on a fantastic show 

No comments:

Post a Comment