C/2012 S1 ISON outburst

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Posted by Comet Section at 18:18 on 2013 Nov 15

This comet is now confirmed to have undergone an outburst, probably on Nov 14.0 Overseas observers are reporting the comet as bright as magnitude 5 this morning. A sequence of images taken by Tony Angel and Caisey Harlington over the past week show the quite dramatic changes that have taken place in the comet’s btightness and morphology. This sequence can be seen on the BAA Comet Gallery at the following link:http://britastro.org/baa/index.php?view=detail&id=1944&option=com_joomgallery&Itemid=200 It will be interesting to see if this increase in brightness and tail development continues through perihelion. There does not appear to be any observations indicating that the comet is disintegrating. Comet expert Z.Sekanina gives the following quote this morninghttp://arxiv.org/pdf/1310.1980v7.pdf"Alert: Starting at ?5h UT on November 14, comet C/2012 S1 has beenreported to be in major outburst. From early data, a preliminaryestimate for its onset is November 14.0 ± 0.2 UT, with an amplitude ofat least 2 mag. Intrinsically the comet is now almost as bright asC/1962 C1 at the same heliocentric distance. It is unclear whetherthis events nature is benign or cataclysmic".So the comet is now near perihelion and active, this is all the encouragement that will be need for observers to try and observe this comet in the difficult period around dawn especially with the moonlight interfering. I hope that many BAA members will have a go and try and observe this fascinating comet. Denis BuczynskiSecretary Comet Section