Is comet C/2012 S1 Ison fading? (25 Nov. 2013)

 

The IRAM 30 meter telescope

The IRAM 30 meter telescope

While comet C/2012 S1 Ison is living its “hottest” days, approaching the minimum distance from the Sun (28 Nov. 2013), a report from Michal Drahus (Caltech/NRAO) says that he and Israel Hermelo (IRAM Granada) have been studying the comet with the IRAM millimeter telescope in Spain, finding that in the last few days the the molecular emission dropped at least of a factor of 20, suggesting the comet is now basically not emitting or no longer existing.

Optical/visual reports by several observers over the last 36 hours suggested a fading phase, too.

On the other side, observations from space via Nasa’s STEREO spacecraft still show the comet there, at least with its dust:

Further observations are needed to understand what is happening there: the evolution of the dusty counterpart is STEREO will be important for this, too.

 

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