Experienced comet observers on Ison: ‘We don’t like the odd look of it at this time’ - Nov 2, 2013

It isn’t just casual observers or amateur astromoners that are baffled by Comet ISON but highly regarded comet observer John Bortle is perplexed over ISON’s “odd” behavior.

Via Space.com: Bortle said that the recent images along with his own visual impression, is "downright weird." He adds that, "There is a bright, miniature, long-tailed comet situated within a much larger, but very much fainter and diffuse halo of a coma."

Bortle has observed several hundred comets and yet, he writes, “At this stage of the game, with the comet about to cross the orbit of Earth, I cannot recall any previous comet in my 50-plus years of comet observing looking quite like this. So, what does ISON’s current look foretell, or mean? I honestly don’t know. All I can say is I don’t like the odd look of it at this time.”

Around Oct. 19, ISON seemed to suddenly brighten at a more rapid pace. On Oct. 21, Arizona observer Bruce Gary wrote, "The comet (coma plus tail) continues a dramatic brightening trend that started Oct 19. But just four days later, with the comet showing signs of fading a bit rather than brightening, Gary, sounding almost a bit exasperated commented, "I don't know what's going on with this comet!"

Another expert Carl Hergenrother of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, Ariz., reiterates the weirdness of ISON, “Visual and CCD-V observations do show a comet that is brightening at a normal rate, while CCD-R observations show a comet that is barely brightening at all. CCD-R sees predominately dust in contrast with visual and CCD-V, which have large gas components. It seems that over the past month or so ISON’s gas production rate has increased as expected while its dust production rate has not,”

Hergenrother said. “I don’t really know what this means but something has to give, either the dust production picks up or the gas production slows down.”

Analyzing all the observations made since Sept. 4 shows that ISON is responding to the sun more like a solid body would respond, rather than as a typical "fluffy" comet.

Expert after expert notice the anomalies, yet the general public should just trust NASA and the government’s assertions? via space.com



  1. With the sun at maximum activity, and possibly close to switching poles, who knows what that comet will do.

    1. Reversal began several months ago. South pole has reversed. North has been lagging for yet unknown reason but is expected to be complete in the next four to six weeks. Encke will reach perihelion the 21'st, will likely be quite a show, ISON one week later. Still time to buy comet insurance.

  2. Ladies and gentleman, this is is going to be a big show, get ready for something unexpected, not all is as it seems!

  3. So much anti-climax from elinin...now we have comet Encke in 17 days, does that name ring a bell??? No attention at all, followed by I-son one week later. Both are returning and more to follow. Fourth seal has been broken.

  4. This, plus the mystery stars in the east and west. Everything is too quiet right now. People know things. Any insight would be appreciated.


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