NASA’s Hubble makes Comet ISON movie

One of the most eagerly awaited comets of all time, Comet ISON, has been captured by Hubble as it races through the Solar System for a rendezvous with the Sun.

A frame from the movie Hubble has made of Comet ISON.
A frame from the movie Hubble has made of Comet ISON. Credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Astronomers around the world are hoping for a spectacular display at the end of the year – but the NASA/ESA space telescope has been studying the cosmic visitor already.

The Hubble team have just released a movie made up from images taken by the orbiting telescope on 8 May as the comet was still travelling between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars and 650 million km (403 million miles) from Earth.

Despite the distance, the comet, which is already sporting a tail, can be seen moving across the starry background in the 43 minutes over which exposures were taken. It travelled 55,000 km (34,000 miles) in that time.

The movie of the comet taken by Hubble. Credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The tail is produced by a warming of the comet’s icy head, or nucleus, which releases gases into space. These are swept away from the nucleus by the pressure of the solar wind.

The comet, discovered from Russia by the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) on 21 September. It is officially labelled C/2012 S1 (ISON).

Calculations show that Comet ISON will pass less than two million km from the Sun at perihelion on 28 November. Its brightness then has been predicted to reach anything between -11 and -16 which could make it brighter than the Full Moon.

But comet behaviour is notoriously difficult to predict and there is also the danger that its close pass by the Sun could cause the comet to break up.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

7 thoughts on “NASA’s Hubble makes Comet ISON movie

  • 07/03/2013 at 9:46 pm

    Very soon all will look to the Heavens above.

    (C/2012 S1) will give a show no one will forget.

    Every one on Earth can track and see most all NEAR EARTH OBJECTS at.


    What a view the International Space Station will get more then a eye full of C/2012 S1.

    Largest ever seen in the last 200 years or more, Moon Impact Explosion March 17, 2013.

    More small ones Asteroids to Impact, you do not want to be by tall building.
    if a big enough one impact the earth most all the tall building if not all will.

    Fathers and Mothers take your children to a " STAR PARTY " its a gathering of Astronomers some amateur some new to it and many of us have been looking to the Heavens for many years. There are many a Star Party all over this planet.

    From………… Maui Space Surveillance Site Complex (MSSSC).

    Or from any of the hills or beaches in the Hawaii Islands at night if you look long enough you will see one, and some nights many of Shooting Stars. People from all over Earth come to the Islands many of them Astronomers.

    Astronomers from around the world at Dillingham Air Field in Hawaii All are welcome to Hawaiian Astronomical Society Star Party to Look to the Heavens Above. With Many of us that fly in them.

    Father like son both Archimedes and his Father Phidias the Astronomer were.
    well know to all wise men of their day that studied the Heavens Above. Long ago
    Wicked men dried to wipe out Archimedes and his Father Phidias from the History.

    More small ones very likely, large ones less likely without notice.
    with all the eyes looking to the Heavens Above.

    is not to protect Earth from men from Mars.
    Nothing would live long on Mars well more than 100 times a year every year it is impacted from meteors of all sizes.
    It is for all mankind with most.
    all Nation in on it to stop if can most all collision with EARTH from a ASTEROID.
    IMPACT. It is if you will a AVOIDANCE SHIELD. "N.E.O.S. Near Earth Object.

    If only one were to hit or IMPACT EARTH on land get ready for a.
    winter you will never forget. The winter from 1883 -1884 KRAKATOA you will think.
    was a little pebble, and now the stone comes. Krakatoa was a great mountain till.
    it erupted with fire and a blast heard thousands of miles away that cast that.
    Great Mountain into the sea. The Shock Waves were felt around the Globe. The sea
    was full of Bodies from the Tsunamis more than 35,000 of them, the sea stayed.
    red for weeks. 1884 was a year without a summer as the year 1816 was and many.
    world wide Froze to Death from the KRAKATOA Event.

    A Shock Wave was felt in England from a Event.
    about 7:15 to 7:20 A.M. Siberia time in the morning in June of the year 1908.
    high in the sky above the Forest in the remote wilderness of Tunguska Siberia.
    heard an explosion that laid flat more than 800 square miles of the forest with.
    all the trees pointing away from the center of the blast with most all the trees.
    laying on their side. Some trees that were right below the blast were still.
    there looking like telephone poles with no bark or branches left on them.
    This Asteroid did not even hit the Ground and this is known by most as.
    the TUNGUSKA EVENT. For all that lived there it was.
    WORMWOOD Rev 8:11 the wood became full of worms and the rivers.
    water no longer sweet and undrinkable.

    If a Meteor Shower is big enough.
    you might think all the Stars are falling from Heaven.

    About one every 100 years makes it into the.
    Earth’s Atmosphere big enough for all to take note. Some make it.
    to the surface the signs are all over the Planet and Moon from the ones that.
    have. Ron Suggs at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center watched the largest ever seen in the last 200 years or more Moon impact explosion March 17, 2013.

    If you need a visual sign of a collided impact.
    with a planet look to.

    "SHOEMAKER – LEVY 9" July 1994.

    and it was found only a year before in 1993.

    The impacts lasted for hours and some pieces were over a mile in diameter.

    You Need More Look up "PROJECT.
    WORMWOOD" Revelations 8: 10 – 11 based on the "TUNGUSKA EVENT" 1908.

    MOSCOW Russia is now saying it will use missiles.
    to intercept Asteroid if need be.

    Better to be safe then sorry.


    Read the one and only book.
    that will really matter the Bible.
    While you still can,
    and May our Lord.
    GOD Bless all that do so.

    December 2013 the Heavens above COMET "C/2012.
    S1", "ISON".

    The day will come soon enough when.

    ARE. the night side of earth will become day and day will be blinding.
    bright. The Bow Shock from the Photo Electric Effect from the Sun's Solar Wind.
    will really be something.

    The sun will be block out from all the space dust.

    Shortly thereafter you will think the stars are.
    falling from the Heavens,

    REV 6:13,

    REV 16:21

    most will be between 60 to 80 pounds that will make it to the ground.
    surface. Nonstop 12 to 14 hours at a time for two days.

    Help others in are Lord's name.
    Jesus Christ help bring all to know him while you still can. Three kings that.
    were wise men once flowed a star with a long tail 2,000 years ago. That lead
    them to Jesus Christ wise men still look to and hear are Lord Jesus Christ.

    The wicked for thousands of years have tried to.
    wipe are LORD from the History Books.


    DECEMBER 24 – 26, 2013.

    As it was in Noah's day nobody would listen to him giving the warning.
    Many thought it was funny till the rain water from the Comet would not stop for days on end.
    Very Sad for many will be sorry.

    Pray for your love ones and lead them to our LORD while you can.

    Matthew 24:37

    The Vaporized tail path after going by the SUN will light up the December skies.

    In October 2013 (C/2012 S1) will be crossing close to the Orbit of Mars.
    In October 2014 (C/2013 A1) will be crossing Mars Orbit too Close.

    On November 1-2, 2013 (C/2012 S1) will pass very close in front of Earth Orbit. Remember its tail is Millions of miles long.

    November 28-29, 2013 it will speed up as it rounds the SUN, goes around it.

    November 29-30, 2013 it will be clear of the SUN and glow brighter each day there after.
    If it makes it passed the SUN?

    December 24-26, 2013 it will light the night sky.

    January 1 – 5 , 2014 Planets line up in almost a straight line with Comet ISON and our SUN.

    January 12 – 17, 2014 the SUN could be blocked out from the comets long tail of star dust. Even if it does not make it around the SUN.

    January 14-16, 2014, Earth will be going right through part of its tail path, that (C/2012 S1) took on the way to the SUN.

    Comets have rocks of all sizes, dust, water, ice and gases, most all gets Vaporized to a glowing yellow or white if it passed to close to the SUN. This Glowing mass can be seen for a Billion + miles away. This absorb energy is carried back with the comet in its orbital path some to deep space.

    The Sun can have a effect on a comet like 1986 Halley's Comet that for years we will be having meteor showers from it ETA AQUARID and ORIONID METEOR SHOWER. Some Meteor Showers can be for a day to more then a week long.

    ( C/2013 A1 ).

    Discovered on January 3, 2013, by Robert H. McNaught born 1956.
    he is more then a Experienced Comet Hunter and well know Astronomer.

    Robert H. McNaught discovered over 50 Comets and very many hundreds of Asteroids.

    ( C/2013 A1 ) could give ( Planet Mars ) more then just a Little Kiss October 20, 2014.

    The Lord's Little Helper.
    Paul Felix Schott.

  • 07/05/2013 at 4:15 am

    cool now where is nibiru the 2 suns in the sky lots of youtube video reports happening these days.

  • 07/06/2013 at 12:46 am

    LOL. How foolish you will feel when you realize Nibiru is fake and you fell for it. I've seen those "2 sun" videos. It's an optical illusion dude.

  • 07/13/2013 at 9:18 pm

    Funny how people who believe in Nibiru don’t know how to punctuate their sentences.

  • 07/17/2013 at 9:30 am

    It is not a simulation. It is produced from a series of images taken by Hubble.

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