Feeds

Top comet-watcher pens ISON's emotional obituary

'Born 4.5 Billion BC, Fragmented Nov 28, 2013 (age 4.5-billion yrs old)'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Comet-connoisseur Karl Battams of the Naval Research Laboratory has released a heartfelt – and more than a little tongue-in-cheek – eulogy for Comet C/2012 S1, aka ISON, which suffered a fiery death last Thursday when it was roasted, toasted, melted, and smelted by our merciless Sun.

Comet ISON

'This is how comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) wished to be remembered,' writes Battams
(image credit: Damian Peach – click to enlarge)

Fittingly entitled "In Memoriam", the death notice chronicles ISON's life in traditional obituary style. "Born in a dusty and turbulent environment, comet ISON spent its early years being jostled and struck by siblings both large and small," Battams writes, sympathetically.

He goes on to document ISON's troubled existence, including its "particularly violent first few million years" and its retreat to the Oort Cloud, where it "maintained a largely reclusive existence for nearly four billion years."

ISON was a rugged individualist, Battams maintains. "Never one to follow convention, ISON lived a dynamic and unpredictable life, alternating between periods of quiet reflection and violent outburst."

Violence was ISON's fate. "Tragically, on November 28, 2013, ISON's tenacious ambition outweighed its ability," Battams writes, "and our shining green candle in the solar wind began to burn out."

While the world may have lost a new friend, Battams notes that we should not despair for our loss, seeing as how ISON is "Survived by approximately several trillion siblings."

Flowers or other mementos of grief should not be offered to assuage the grief of those siblings, Battams suggests. "In ISON's memory," he writes, "donations are encouraged to your local astronomy club, observatory or charity that supports STEM and science outreach programs for children."

Ave atque vale, ISON. We hardly knew ye. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.