Gemini Observatory Captures Comet ISON Hurtling Toward Uncertain Destiny with the Sun

Images of Comet ISON obtained using the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph at Gemini North on February 4, March 4, April 3, and May 4, 2013 (left to right, respectively; Comet ISON at center in all images). Technical Specifications: The three images on left are through an r-band filter only, and the color composite on right includes g, i, and r bands. All are integrated for 2 x 45 seconds with the February 4 image integrated for 2 x 75 seconds (increasing the comet’s apparent brightness). During the period of this sequence, the comet shined at about magnitude 15.5-16.5 in visible light. In these images north is up [need to flip image top/bottom] east is left, and the field-of-view is about 2.5 arcminutes across, which corresponds to about 270,000-290,000 miles (435,000-470,000 kilometers) at the distance of the comet. Color composite produced by Travis Rector, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Credit:

Gemini Observatory/ AURA / Karen Meech (Institute for Astronomy) and T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage)

About the Image

Id:gemini1303a
Type:Collage
Release date:May 29, 2013
Related releases:gemini1303
Size:4050 x 2350 px

About the Object

Name:C/2012 S1
Category:Solar System

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BandTelescope
Gemini North
GMOS-N