Comet ISON Approaches Perihelion

  • Released Friday, March 29, 2013
  • Updated Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 9:39AM
  • ID: 4017

Currently located beyond the orbit of Jupiter, Comet ISON is heading for a very close encounter with the sun next year. In November 2013, it will pass less than 0.012 Astronomical Units (Wikipedia) (1.8 million kilometers) from the center of the Sun, 1.2 million kilometers from the solar surface. The fierce heating it experiences in that approach could turn the comet into a bright naked-eye object.

NOTE: This visualization was revised in March 2013 to fix an ephemeris error. Other enhancements were included in the revision. Also fixed an error where perihelion distance was mistakenly labeled as distance from solar surface.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

DE421 (A.K.A. JPL DE421)
JPL/Horizon Orbital Ephemerides

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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