Comet C2012/S1 ISON: the brightest comet in the XXI century (so far) followed by GLORIA.
On its way to the Sun, comet C2012/S1 ISON will continue to brighten, but it will also get harder and harder to see since it will be close to the Sun in the sky. Right now the comet is close to the eastern horizon before dawn. See the 3-D model.
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Nov. 1. The rate of increase in the brightness of Comet ISON is much slower than predicted. Moreover, at this stage it is not even clear if it will reach the perihelion passage.
Nov. 10. Comet ISON starts displaying its ion tail in the anti-solar direction.
Nov. 13. Comet ISON undergoes an outburst which resulted in the production of a large amount of gas (according to IAA-CSIC with the 30m Pico Veleta radio telescope). The corresponding increase in optical brightness is significant!
Nov. 15. The outburst phase of Comet ISON has concluded, with a total brightness change of 3 magnitudes (factor of ~15) in 3 days. Now it can be observed with the naked eye!
Nov. 18. It is unclear what has happened to Comet ISON. Hermann Boehnhardt (Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany) found an early warning sign that its nucleus has possibly undergone splitting into 2 or more sub-nuclei. This is not yet confirmed and other scientists think that the comet has only activated its surface, regaining its original level of activity.
In the coming nights, GLORIA will continue observing Comet ISON with all suitable telescopes in imaging mode. Spectroscopic observations are expected to be conducted with the COLORES spectrograph attached to BOOTES-2/TELMA.
The planned strategy is to convolve the images by applying a Laplace filter or a rotational gradient filter to sharpen the images, in order to confirm the possible nucleus fragmentation as result of the intense gravitational forces. Stay tuned!