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Ghost of Comet ISON Fading Fast

After initially appearing to revive after whipping around the sun on Thursday, Comet ISON has kept on providing space buffs with a real roller coaster ride. (Related: Comet ISON Barnstorms Sun) But while hopes were raised that the comet might have been only been battered and bruised by its encounter with the sun, it now looks…

Comet ISON Barnstorms Sun

The day of reckoning has finally arrived for Comet ISON, as it slingshots around the sun and we find out whether it survives roasting. Comet ISON today reaches its closest point of approach to the sun, its “perihelion,” at around 1:44 pm EST (18:44 GMT) today. The frozen snowball from the solar system’s outer reaches…

6 Sky Events This Week: Dawn Planets, Lunar Encounters, and Celestial Hunter

As we head toward the final days of November, skywatchers spy pretty planetary and lunar pairings and a mythical hunter, while anxiously waiting to learn of the fate of comet ISON as it rounds the sun. Moon and Regulus. In the hours before sunrise on Tuesday, November 26, look for the last quarter moon to…

7 Sky Events This Week: Double Comet Flybys and Lunar Encounters

Be dazzled by a superbright comet and watch three worlds align in this week’s sky events not to miss.

6 Sky Events This Week: Leonids, Green Giant and a Stellar Snow Globe

A treasure-trove of celestial sights are on display this week, ranging from a double-dose of meteor showers, a green-giant planet and one of the most beautiful deep-space sights seen in the heavens.  North Taurids Peak.  Late night on Monday, November 11, and during the following morning, the North Taurid meteor shower peaks. Individual meteors will…

5 Sky Events This Week: Partial Lunar Eclipse, Halley’s Shooting Stars

Mars and Regulus. Looking high east at dawn on Wednesday, October 16, check out Mars as it pairs up with Regulus, the lead star of the constellation Leo the lion.  The contrast in color between the orange-hued planet and the sparkling white, 79-light-year distant star is particularly striking with the naked eye or binoculars. What…

Comet ISON Plays Coy With Astronomers

  The latest observations from professional and amateur astronomers around the world show that the much-hyped comet ISON is still very much alive, and new data suggests that it may very well survive its close swing by the Sun on November 28. The big question on skywatchers’ minds, however, is how good of a sky…

Despite Shutdown NASA Planetary Probes On the Job

No worries… yet. Despite the U.S. government shutdown and cancellation of most of NASA’s activities, the space agency’s fleet of planetary spacecraft will remain on the job, including its Mars rovers and orbiters. (Read: “NASA Hit by Government Shutdown.”) That’s good news for the armada of robots recording  data streaming in from comet ISON as it…

5 Sky Events This Week: Saturn Poses With Moon, Comet Coming, Giant Lunar Wall

As we head towards mid-month naked-eye sky-watchers get to witness the moon pose with the lord of the rings and the goddess of love, while now famous comet ISON and a giant asteroid fill telescope and binocular views. Moon Near Saturn.  On Monday, September 9, the ringed planet Saturn will be an easy naked-eye target…

Photo: Hubble Gets First Glimpse of Possible ‘Comet of the Century’

  Hubble has taken its first close-up views of the much anticipated and potential ‘comet of the century’. On the night of April 10th, the space telescope snapped an image in visible light of Comet ISON while it was still at a whopping distance of 394 million miles from Earth (386 million miles from the…