Coming This Fall - If It Survives!
Comet ISON is soaring through the sky and
Chabot Space & Science Center is here to be your guide!
A pristine visitor from the Oort Cloud, sungrazing comet ISON will either sizzle as a spectacular sky show, or fizzle as it is torn apart by the Sun. Join us for comet related activities over the course of its journey and stay tuned for updates on its perilous trek around our Sun.
- Check back here for regular updates on ISON’s progression, Center related activities, and image updates (as available).
- Have a question about ISON or comets in general? Ask a scientist at PR@ChabotSpace.org your question and an anwser may appear on our website or our social media outlets.
|SCENARIO 1||SCENARIO 2||SCENARIO 3|
ISON evaporates under intense tidal forces and solar radiation.
ISON emerges in smaller chunks. (could happen any time)
ISON survives and emerges so bright it may be visible on Earth in daylight.
Comet ISON's Travel
(Check back for weekly progress updates)
- Dec 3: The final word? NASA says, Comet ISON is no longer with us, alas. Click here for the full story and animation of ISON's demise.
- Dec 3: Comet ISON fan art, depicting the comet's harrowing flight past the Sun:
- Nov 29: It appears that Comet ISON may have survived its passage by the Sun on Thanksgiving, though maybe not unscathed. At least a remnant of the comet is now moving away from the Sun, though how visible, if at all, ISON will become in the coming weeks is still uncertain. We'll just have to adopt a wait and see attitude....
- Nov 28: Has Comet ISON disintegrated! Click thumbnail for a composite from SOHO showing ISON's trajectory around the Sun, and click here for animation from Spaceweather.com.
- Nov 27: Comet ISON captured by SOHO just before closest approach to the Sun:
- Comets ISON and Encke plunging through the solar wind, captured by NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft
- As of November 22, some watchers in areas of dark skies have reported seeing ISON with the naked eye, low in the southeast, before sunrise. Binoculars will aid you in your search for the comet, especially if you live in an area in or near a city with light pollution. Going forward, the comet will now begin to disappear into the glare of the Sun and morning twilight, and we won't see it again until at least mid December, assuming it survives its close pass by the Sun on Thanksgiving.
- Comet ISON - Chabot 36-inch reflector - Nov 14
- Egad! Is Comet ISON breaking up?!
- Comet ISON's Solar-Coaster Ride is Heating Up
- Comet ISON - Chabot 36-inch reflector - Nov 13 and 14. These pictures, taken on two consecutive nights, show the effects on an "outburst" of material that erupted from the comet
- Comet ISON - Chabot 36-inch reflector - Nov 1 2013 (click thumbnail for larger image)
- Comet ISON - Chabot 36-inch reflector - Oct 13 2013 (click thumbnail for larger image)
- Comet ISON - Chabot 36-inch reflector - Sept 30 2013 (click thumbnail for larger image)
- Oct. 9, 2013 - Tucson, Ariz. -- Scientists are unraveling more information on Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) as it continues on its journey toward the Sun. Comet C/ISON will skim 730,000 miles above the Sun’s surface on Nov. 28 and has the potential to be readily visible from Earth starting in early December. >> Read all about it!
- Sept 28, 2013 - Comet ISON seen from Mars!
- Comet ISON - Chabot 36-inch reflector - Sept 8 2013 (click thumbnail for larger image)
- Check out ISON from every angle! Click here for a fully interactive simulation of the comet's location and orbit, created by the INOVE company..
Please Note: Comet viewing is not guaranteed and weather permitting for outside viewing. Please check our weather station for more day-of details or call us at (510) 336-7373 for more information.
- Saturday, November 30
Comet Celebration (11am - 4pm)
Included with General Admission
Simulated Space Mission: $10
As Comet ISON heads towards the Sun, we'll eagerly await its fate! In the meantime, come to Chabot and discover the wonders behind comets. Launch a bottle "comet" high into the sky! Make a comet in our comet workshop! Or, speak to our resident comet expert on our observatory deck and take a trip to outer space with a unique Challenger Learning Center® simulated mission specially designed to explore comets.
(if the comet survives & conditions are favorable)
- Friday, December 27
Nighttime Comet Stories (9pm - 11pm)
$10 (Children 1 & Under Free)
Call (510) 336-7373 for Reservations
Thought to be the "Comet of the Century," Comet ISON has sadly fizzled away. But we’re still talking comets as we snuggle up and hear tales of comets past. Listen to our resident comet expert explain ISON’s path and what made this comet so special. Bring binoculars, blankets and warm clothes. Hot beverages will be for sale.