Observers around the world are reporting that Comet ISON brightened sharply last night and is now at the threshold of naked-eye visibility. By some reports, ISON surged in brightness by approximately 2 magnitudes over last 24 hours and is now brighter than comet Lovejoy.
If this trend continues, it will be a faint but easy naked-eye object by the end of the week, SpaceWeather reports.
The sudden uptick in brightness could be caused by a fresh vein of ice opening up in the comet’s nucleus. Rapid vaporization of ice by solar heat is a sure way to boost a comet’s visibility.
ISON’s brush with the Sun on November 28th is very near and many more of these brightening events might happen but all three scenarios for ISON are still open. The first possible scenario is fizzle – ISON evaporates under intense tidal forces and solar radiation. The second scenario is break-up – ISON breaks into smaller chunks.
The third scenario is what everybody hopes will happen – sizzle – ISON survives its brush with the Sun and emerges so bright it becomes visible on Earth in daylight.
I was born in the 1960’s and have lived all my life in the Coal Mining Town of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, Northern England. My parents were all from this area of Yorkshire and my father worked in the main Industry of the local Collieries as a face worker. I have been married to my wife Debbie for 35+ years and we have two children and two grandchildren.
I have been licensed for around 20 years after my interest was re-kindled when I retired from my role as a Police Officer within South Yorkshire Police Force. The latter few years were spent as Radio Operator in the Force Operations Control Room at Sheffield, before my career ended.
IOTA chasing is (and always has been) my real passion, as climbing the ladder to reach Honour Roll status was always my main aim. The 1000 Islands Trophy is still out of reach but I am heading in the right direction. I am currently a Board Member of IOTA Ltd and IREF.
In my free time I am a keen Photographer of Wildlife, Aviation, (anything really) but the QSL Manager role is my main passion within Ham Radio.