Feeds

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

European Space Agency calls it: space rock is pining for the fjords

The Power of One Infographic

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 made it out the other side, but Dean Pesnell, SDO project scientist, says in a canned statement "We didn't see Comet ISON in SDO. "So we think it must have broken up and evaporated before it reached perihelion."

The European Space agency has offered a more definite assessment of events in this tweet.

Thus ends one of the more interesting incidents in recent solar system history. ISON was only spotted in 2012 but was quickly identified as likely to put on a show. Some predicted that show would be spectacular, perhaps even out-shining the moon.

Such a light-show did not eventuate and ISON has become just some more stuff for the Sun to crunch into life-giving warmth. And another reminder, as if it was needed, of just how amazing the universe is and how tiny we are in the scheme of things. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.