Comet ISON Q&A


What are your questions? Post them in the comments & I’ll work on getting them getting answered ASAP.


  1. timothy kammrad says:

    As comet Ison voyaged through space it left a trail of dust/water etc. This dust was on the same orbit of Ison so what happens to it? Does it continue moving at the same rate of speed as when it left Ison or does it slow down or stop within the orbit? I would think that since there is no resistance in space that the particles will all follow Ison. For example, If Ison would have had a very survivable orbit, would it run into it’s own dust on the second time around?

  2. Victor says:

    Is it possible that the comet itself, continued, magnetic acceleration and achieved the speed of light or magnetic vibration, which would account for it’s disappearance temporarily and will not be again visible until it decelerates?
    re: Philadelphia experiment theory

  3. fumb duck says:

    Comet ISON is very much alive and visible for all to see in Lasco C2 & C3..Big bright and moving fast. Not sure if NASA are just plain stupid or lying again.

  4. Elechi nnaemeka donatus says:

    What would have happened to earth if the the ison comet had made a succsseful entrance into the sun?

  5. Kim Smith-Stout says:

    Thank you for participating in the NASA hangout on November 28. ISON, the chat, and the ability to observe and measure aspects of the Universe as it goes about its business– i.e. “the ability to skeptically interrogate the Universe” (Sagan 1996), are things for which I am thankful.

  6. Chris says:

    Please review this YouTube video of Comet Ison and pay attention/comment on the following:

    1. The CME’s that hit Comet Ison as it leaves the Sun. Is it possible the tail of the Comet was knocked off the nucleus and now it’s just not visible until the tail has a chance to regrow? Does the tail continue to follow the expected path of the comet or is it possible the nucleus just isn’t currently visible because the tail has been knocked off?

    2. The tail when it emerges from the sun forms an acute angle and then gradually changes to an obtuse angle?

    3. Why does it this Comet appear to slow down the further it gets away from the Sun?

  7. Hi Elechi, It would not have had any impact on Earth if ISON had gone into the sun. It would melt before it went very far into the atmosphere and it would be mixed into the sun’s atmosphere.


  8. Hi Victor, While a Philadelphia Experiment like effect would be really cool there is no evidence that anything like that would happen. It looks like all that happened was that most or all of the ice on comet ISON melted away before perihelion leaving only a clump of sand and rock. Then a good portion of the comet was gone after perihelion leaving only a small piece of the nucleus at most. This is why its brightness decreased quickly and now the comet is just a cloud of dust and pebbles (so not really a comet anymore). It is too bad, I was really looking forward to a nice show in the Dec. night sky.


  9. Hello
    I am not sure what NASA has lied about in the past but we were not lying here and I would like to think we are not stupid. ISON was not alive and well after perihelion but in fact a much smaller comet barely holding on. When saw it in SOHO but what we didn’t know at the time if there was a comet left or if it was just a tail and debris cloud. This uncertain conclusion was based several observations including the lack of SDO observations (even though we had observed 2 smaller comets) and the structure of the tail etc. after it reappeared in C2 and C3. The main reason for this conclusion is that the comet increased in brightness as it headed towards perihelion reaching its peak brightness about 12 hours before perihelion. Then its brightness fell off quickly over the next 2 or so hours. The comet appears to have stopped producing dust about 3 hours before perihelion and this probably corresponds to the end of nuclear fragmentation. It looks like most or all of the ice on comet ISON melted away before perihelion leaving only a clump of sand and rock. So if any nucleus survived it was very small. A tiny comet, which is too bad. I was really looking forward to a great show in the night sky this month.
    Best Regards,

  10. Hi Timothy,

    You are correct that the dust continues with the comet as part of the cloud around it and the dust tail behind the comet. So much of the dust is left in the path of the comet. The path of dust that is left stays in the orbit of the comet and sometimes when Earth’s orbit crosses the path of the dust trail we get meteor showers. But the dust only comes off when the comet is within the frost line. That is when it is close enough to the sun for its ice to melt (this distance is about 3 times the distance from the sun to Earth). Some of the smaller dust can also be push away from the sun by solar radiation (when the comet is very close to the sun – like ISON). Some comets might pass back through there dust if they come back around but ISON for example would not come back even if it survived. It’s orbit would not bring it back around but back out into the edge of the solar system. It did not have a periodic orbit.

    Best Regards,

  11. Thank you very much! I feel privileged every day I get to study and learn from the Universe.

    Best Regards,