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Comet ISON

Catalogued as C/2012 S1, Comet ISON was first spotted 585 million miles away in September 2012. This is ISON's very first trip into the inner solar system. That means it is still made of pristine matter from the earliest days of the solar system’s formation, its top layers never having been lost by a trip near the sun. Along Comet ISON's journey, NASA has used a vast fleet of spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes to learn more about this time capsule from when the solar system first formed.

During the last week of its inbound trip, ISON will enter the fields of view of NASA’s space-based solar observatories. Comet ISON will be viewed first by NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO. Next the comet will be seen in what’s called coronagraphs by both STEREO and the joint European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO. Then, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory will view the comet for a few hours during its closest approach to the sun, known as perihelion.

Comet ISON Imagery

link to gallery item NASA's Solar Observing Fleet Watch Comet ISON's Journey Around the Sun

NASA's Solar Observing Fleet Watch Comet ISON's Journey Around the Sun
link to gallery item Comet ISON before and during Perihelion

Comet ISON before and during Perihelion
link to gallery item The Path of Comet ISON

The Path of Comet ISON

Comet ISON Orbit Visualizations

link to gallery item The Path of Comet ISON

The Path of Comet ISON
link to gallery item Comet ISON Approaches Perihelion

Comet ISON Approaches Perihelion
link to gallery item Chasing Comet ISON

Chasing Comet ISON

General Comet Information

link to gallery item What is a Sungrazing Comet?

What is a Sungrazing Comet?
link to gallery item Sungrazers Galore

Sungrazers Galore
link to gallery item Sun Grazing Comets as Solar Probes

Sun Grazing Comets as Solar Probes
link to gallery item How to Cook a Comet

How to Cook a Comet
link to gallery item Kreutz Comet Orbits

Kreutz Comet Orbits

Other Sungrazing Comets

link to gallery item STEREO Watches the Sun Blast Comet PanSTARRS

STEREO Watches the Sun Blast Comet PanSTARRS
link to gallery item SDO Sees Comet Lovejoy Survive Close Encounter With Sun

SDO Sees Comet Lovejoy Survive Close Encounter With Sun
link to gallery item Survivor 2011: Comet Lovejoy vs. The Sun

Survivor 2011: Comet Lovejoy vs. The Sun
link to gallery item A Comet's Demise: July 6, 2011

A Comet's Demise: July 6, 2011
link to gallery item Closeup of Comet Encke from STEREO

Closeup of Comet Encke from STEREO
link to gallery item Comet Encke collides with a CME

Comet Encke collides with a CME


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