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back to article RIP Comet ISON: ???-2013. We hardly knew ye

Comet ISON plunged towards the Sun today and didn't emerge to tell the tale. That's the verdict from NASA and Comet-watchers. Here's a NASA video of the comet's last few thousand kilometres of life. Watch Video Doesn't look encouraging, does it? NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was rigged up to spot the comet if it …

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Anonymous Coward

Such a funeral pyre demands a soundtrack

"His eyes seem so glazed

As he flies on the wings of a dream

Now he knows his father betrayed

Now his wings burn to ashes to ashes his grave

Fly on your way like an eagle

Fly as high as the sun

On your wings like an eagle

Fly and touch the sun"

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Pint

Re: Such a funeral pyre demands a soundtrack

This is the end...

my only friend, the end!

--Jim Morrison

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Mushroom

Re: Such a funeral pyre demands a soundtrack

eins

Hier kommt die Sonne

zwei

Hier kommt die Sonne

drei

Sie ist der hellste Stern von allen

vier

Hier kommt die Sonne

funf

Hier kommt die Sonne

sechs

Hier kommt die Sonne

sieben

Sie ist der hellste Stern von allen

acht, neun

Hier kommt die Sonne

Die Sonne scheint mir aus den Händen

kann verbrennen kann dich blenden

wenn sie aus den Fäusten bricht

legt sich heiss auf dein Gesicht

legt sich schmerzend auf die Brust

das Gleichgewicht wird zum Verlust

lässt dich hart zu Boden gehen

und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn

-Rammstein

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It's better to burn out than to fade away!

Dat hyperbolic trajectory!

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It had to happen. Can you imagine a Christmas star pointing North? Where would that have got us wise people to? Lapland? And a whole new meaning to Christmas?

No. It just had to be stopped. :-(

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Anonymous Coward

Makes you feel insignificant...

Can we have your liver then?

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> ISON has become just some more stuff for the Sun to crunch into life-giving warmth

Given its estimated diameter of 2000m and wildly assuming that it was spherical and well-packed then it weighed about 4 billion tonnes, so enough to delay the burn-out of the sun by as much as ten seconds. Use them well, my great^10^6-grandchildren!

...except that it didn't actually collide with the sun, just disintegrated in the mix of being roasted and shredded by tidal forces. The final video clearly shows a diffuse cloud of comet guts continuing along the original trajectory. So unfortunately it did nothing at all to forestall Earth-roasting doom.

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Silver badge

Re: delay the burn-out of the sun

Except that adding fuel to a star *shortens* its life.

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"how amazing the universe is and how tiny we are in the scheme of things"

Especially when viewed in perspective with a small piece of fairy cake...

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"Especially when viewed in perspective with a small piece of fairy cake..."

True, I found out that I was the most important thing in the entire universe!

Zaphod turns out to be in second place.

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That all happened in a pocket universe inside some guy's office anyway, so don't get too up yourself.

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The thing is - something clearly did emerge - there are thousands of reports with STEREO images showing it.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps not gone yet

Have a look at the SOHO image here: http://www.universetoday.com/

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Right at the end of the video it's visible.

But, it's now extra crispy. Looked rather dispersed and the volatiles are gone.

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Coat

And the sun...

...saved us from being blinded by the cometary light show.

Um... anyone told the Triffids to stand down...?

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I like to think that it's waiting ...

... to make a special Christmas appearance in the eastern sky.

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Flame

Set the Controls...

... For the Heart of the Sun...

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So what you're saying...

...is that ISON is off?

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Re: So what you're saying...

"...is that ISON is off?"

It's now ICEOFF.

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A CME on the opposite side of the sun

This has been seen before in comets crashing into the sun and ruled a coincidence. Maybe now it will get another look.

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Re: A CME on the opposite side of the sun

"This has been seen before in comets crashing into the sun and ruled a coincidence. Maybe now it will get another look."

Keep on looking, it missed the sun. It was even visible at the very end of the video in the article. Looked to be dispersed a bit and quite dim.

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Windows

Global warming!!11!!

Oh noes! All that extra stuff in the sun! It's burning brightly - GLoBaL WaRMiNG!

Hang on. It's ice. It's melting into water and water puts out fire!!!! - Oh noes, GLoBaL CooLiNG!!

What do I do? Help me Obi Wan!

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ISON isn't gone. It altered its position in the time stream using the extra energy gained from catapulting around the sun. The procedure is well documented in the documentary The Voyage Home starting TJ Hooker and Leonard Nimoy.

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That documentary was made after they had come to understand the technique and make practical use of it. I believe they actually discovered the effect while making another documentary some twenty years earlier.

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But was it really 20 years earlier, or had they altered the time stream again to make it appear that way?

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Byz

Not dead yet

It had it's tail blown off by the backend of a CME

but it's still there see

http://www.spaceweather.com/images2013/28nov13/rip_anim5.gif?PHPSESSID=p823u13ssjo1d2idu682mf9m66

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Go

Re: Not dead yet

So now we are going to dispute whether Ison is dead or not?

Maybe we should rename it comet Elvis!

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Re: Not dead yet

A chip shop rang, they have a job opening.

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Unhappy

There does seem to be some remnant there, but it is unlikely to give us a spectacular show. Pity for those living in parts of the world not covered in solid clouds for the next week or two.

I am happy I took the time to spot it in the morning sky (and was lucky enough to have two whole clear mornings this whole autumn),

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Joke

If it does emerge again if should say

"I'm not dead yet!!

I'm feeling better"

Alternatively, we should train larger scopes on it to see if there is a card

"I aten't dead!"

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The kids have been following this with great interest. They've both gone to school this morning just that little bit sadder, but much wiser to the ways of the universe.

If nothing else, they'll spend much more time looking up now, rather than peering at some rubbish on a fondleslab.

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While I'm all for astronomical science...

I'm kind of glad it's gawn and committed astro hari-kiri. With all of the TV science-gasm around this comet recently, and how we should all go and see it from early December because it's soooooo important - you'd think it's sole purpose was to answer every unanswered question ever known about the origins of, well... everything.

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Re: While I'm all for astronomical science...

It is important, it is not often you get to see a bright comet in the sky.

It has had my 6 and 4 year old (and even my 2 year old though see does not really have a clue) sons excited about seeing it in the sky. Getting the telescope out and even more interested in science and the universe.

If you don't like the mainstream media reporting, turn it off don't watch it you have that choice.

I have vague recollections oh Halleys comet when I was little and I have been interested in science and space ever since. They may not answer everything but they help with an awful lot of questions and they encourage more participation especially in the young.

I was looking forward to sitting out in the cold with my kids looking at the stars, moon, planets and a comet. We only do it a few times a year when we get the telescope out but they enjoy it every time (without the comet).

I hope what has survived as ISON still gives us a reasonable chance to watch it.

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Exactly as designed.

It was clearly a stunt for 'Disaster Area'.

Once Hotblack Desiato comes back from his year spent dead for tax reasons, he'll be pleased that the R&D has continued apace.

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According to this blog it's possibly not quite dead yet...

http://www.isoncampaign.org/karl/schroedingers-comet

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Happy
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Kind of interesting that diving into the sun is the only way a comet's tail is going to 'look right'. And it would look very odd indeed coming out.

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Metaphasic Shielding anyone ?

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Anonymous Coward

Time for FB & T

Surely some massive facebook campaign can bring it back. I mean, look at the power of social media in the Arab Spring! Likelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelikelike..............

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Please!!! Won't somebody think of the children?

I'm not often moved to spit fire but "EVENTUATE" ??? FFS!!! What's wrong with occur?

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Re: Please!!! Won't somebody think of the children?

Fuck "eventuate", what irritates ME more is the continual use of 'it's' when 'its' is what's meant...

Anyway, what's wrong with 'eventuate'...? Why use an easily understood word and miss out on the chance to dazzle - and confound - folk with your vocabulary...?! I rarely miss an opportunity meself - confuzzling folks is FUN!

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Re: Please!!! Won't somebody think of the children?

How can you express annoyance at peoples' inability to understand the difference between the omissive and possessive apostrophe yet enjoy eventuate?

Ahh... I think I understand now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Please!!! Won't somebody think of the children?

I prefer 'happen' myself...

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I prefer 'happen' myself..

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