Planets and Moons  ID: 4017

Comet ISON Approaches Perihelion

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.



Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer
William D. Pesnell (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Tony Phillips (Wyle Information Systems): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Short URL to share this page:

Data Used:
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.

This item is part of these series:
Astrophysics Visualizations
Comet ISON's Journey into the Light

SVS >> Comet
SVS >> Simulation
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Solar System
SVS >> Space
SVS >> Solar System >> Planetary Orbits
SVS >> Solar System >> Orbits
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons