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Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)

Object information

Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) was discovered by V. Nevski and A. Novichonok on September 21 2012. The name ISON comes from "International Scientific Optical Network" which is the name of the observatory used to make the discovery.

ISON reached its perihelion on November 28 2013 and according to current data (early December 2013) it's nucleus went almost completely destroyed by the intense heat caused by the close approach to the Sun's surface.

Please note. We are still showing Comet ISON on TheSkyLive.com because, even if it's nucleus has been destroyed, what remains of it will continue moving along the same predicted orbit, and hopefullly will be visible with larger telescopes. While the predicted position should be accurate, the value of the magnitude is currently not correct, since it's computation is still based on the assumption that the comet would have survived the close encounter with the Sun.

This finder chart shows an accurate view of the star field surrounding the comet, simulating a telesopic view. It is obtained from the Digitized Sky Surcvey 2, which is a photographic archive covering large part of the sky.

The chart covers an area of 45x30 arc minutes, which is roughly equivalent of full Moon's apparent size.

Latest updates

A high precision photographic sky map showing the position of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) in real time.

Current close conjunctions

List of bright objects (stars brighter than magnitude 9.0 and galaxies brighter than magmitude 14.0) close to Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) (less than 1.5 degrees):

TypeNameMagnitudeArDec
StarHIP 265378.62605h 38m 38s+39° 56’ 25”
StarHIP 265926.339405h 39m 08s+41° 21’ 31”
StarHIP 267578.494805h 41m 03s+41° 21’ 40”
StarHIP 267637.829805h 41m 05s+39° 38’ 07”
StarHIP 267647.761405h 41m 06s+40° 52’ 57”
StarHIP 269576.757805h 43m 13s+41° 41’ 47”
StarHIP 26960005h 43m 16s+41° 07’ 06”
StarHIP 269617.424605h 43m 17s+41° 07’ 22”
StarHIP 270678.216605h 44m 24s+40° 24’ 17”
StarHIP 271926.551405h 45m 49s+40° 30’ 26”
StarHIP 272518.766605h 46m 31s+42° 04’ 25”
StarHIP 274548.568805h 48m 47s+39° 54’ 43”
StarHIP 274586.726205h 48m 51s+39° 32’ 01”
StarHIP 275208.38805h 49m 38s+41° 45’ 28”

Astronomy databases

This online sky chart is created using the following astronomy databases and services:

  1. The Digitized Sky Survey, a photographic survey of the whole sky created using images from different telescopes, including the Oschin Schmidt Telescope on Palomar Mountain
  2. The Hipparcos Star Catalogue, containing more than 100.000 bright stars
  3. The PGC 2003 Catalogue, containing information about 1 million galaxies
  4. The GSC 2.3 Catalogue, containing information about more than 2 billion stars and galaxies
Please see the acknowledgements section.

About the data, and how to use it

TheSkyLive.com offers live information, ephemeris computations, astronomical sky charts for the most important Solar System objects. You can use the live position charts during your observation sessions, to point your telescope and identify the object on the sky background. The ephemeris computations feature can be used to plan your astronomical observations in the future.

Please note: we aim to provide high quality data obtained from the JPL Horizons ephemeris service. Please keep in mind that for objects like comets, there might be high discrepancies between the magnitude information we are showing here and the actual value. This happens because comets' magnitude is highly influenced by physical phenomena which can be hardly modelled and calculated in advance.

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