Feeds

Possibly EXPLODING or GLORIOUS Comet ISON: The (GIF) MOVIE

Amateur skywatcher snaps pics in a jiffy* using remote robo scope

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

.GIF Retired teacher Bruce Mellin in the US has snapped a few shots of comet ISON on its way towards its potential doom or glory at solar perihelion later this month.

Comet ISON

Using the Harvard-Smithsonian MicroObservatory's "Donald" remote robo telescope in Arizona, Mellin grabbed some low-res images of the comet, which the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics then turned into an animated GIF movie.

The very short cartoon flips between two separate 60-second exposures of the brightening space rock, which is currently visible, with some help from 'scopes or binoculars, in the Virgo constellation.

ISON will reach its closest point of approach to the Sun on the 28th of November, assuming that increasing heat hasn't already caused it to come to bits by then. If it does manage to hold together, it could become visible to the naked eye in dawn skies in December as gas jetting from its nucleus - more accustomed to the frosty ambience of the Oort cloud than conditions well inside the orbit of Mercury - illuminates the night sky. It may be the greatest comet in a hundred years, or another disappointment: nobody yet knows.

Recently, boffins have become increasingly concerned that ISON might not even make its rendezvous with the Sun, as there have been signs that its nucleus could have broken up already. However, the signs could also indicate some other normal stuff that's to be expected of a comet on its way to a close pass of just 720,000 miles (1.2 million kilometres) shy of the Sun, in which case, the celestial event will be brightest in the sky next month. ®

* As any fule kno, the "g" in gif is pronounced as "j" according to the man who designed it. President Obama and others are members of the hard-line resistance to this idea.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?