Une page de l'ESA sur la comète ISON
23 September 2013
ESA’s space missions are getting ready to observe an icy visitor to the inner Solar System: Comet ISON, which might also be visible in the night sky later this year as a naked eye object.
The comet was discovered in images taken on 21 September 2012 by astronomers Artyom Novichonok and Vitali Nevski using a 40 cm-diameter telescope that is part of the International Scientific Optical Network, ISON.
Originating from the Oort Cloud, a repository of icy bodies billions of kilometres from the Sun, ISON is on a path that will bring it within grazing distance – 1.2 million kilometres – above the Sun’s visible surface on 28 November. Lire la suite . . .
C/1680 V1, also called the Great Comet of 1680, Kirch's Comet, and Newton's Comet, has the distinction of being the first comet discovered by telescope. It was discovered by Gottfried Kirch on 14 November 1680, New Style, and became one of the brightest comets of the 17th century – reputedly visible even in daytime – and was noted for its spectacularly long tail. Passing 0.42 AUs from Earth on 30 November 1680, it sped around an incredibly close perihelion of 0.0062 AU (930,000 km; 580,000 mi) on 18 December 1680, reaching its peak brightness on 29 December as it rushed outward again. It was last observed on 19 March 1681. As of September 2012 the comet was about 253 AU from the Sun.
While the Kirch Comet of 1680–1681 was discovered and subsequently named for Gottfried Kirch, credit must also be given to Eusebio Kino, the Spaniard Jesuit priest who charted the comet’s course. During his delayed departure for Mexico, Kino began his observations of the comet in Cádiz in late 1680. Upon his arrival in Mexico City, he published his Exposisión [sic] astronómica de el cometa (Mexico City, 1681) in which he presented his findings. Kino’s Exposisión astronómica is among the earliest scientific treatises published by a European in the New World.
Although it was undeniably a sungrazing comet, it was probably not part of the Kreutz family. Aside from its brilliance, it is probably most noted for being used by Isaac Newton to test and verify Kepler's laws.
The 9 Most Brilliant Comets Ever Seen
by Joe Rao, SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist, October 05, 2012 12:24pm ET
Great Comet of 1680 —This comet has an orbit strikingly similar to Comet ISON, begging the question of whether both objects are one and the same or at the very least are somehow related. Discovered on Nov. 14, 1680 by German astronomer Gottfried Kirsch, this was the first telescopic comet discovery in history. By Dec. 4, the comet was visible at magnitude +2 with a tail 15 degrees long. On Dec. 18 it arrived at perihelion — its closest approach to the sun — at a distance of 744,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers).
A report from Albany, N.Y. indicated that it could be glimpsed in daylight passing above the sun. In late December, it reappeared in the western evening sky, again of magnitude +2, and displaying a long tail that resembled a narrow beam of light that stretched for at least 70 degrees. The comet faded from naked-eye visibility by early February 1681.