ISON Postmortem

After the flyby, death, apparent rebirth and finality of comet ISON scientist are declaring victory.

Due to the hype and the composition of ISON, it was one of the most widely viewed comets to pass through the solar system.  Telescopes and other instruments were trained on ISON to gather as much data as possible.

Even extra-terrestrial observations from the rovers and orbiters on and around Mars collected data on this first time visitor.  All the data collected is now being studied intently to help glean some insights to the formation of our solar system.

Some reports have already discussed the composition and make-up of ISON from spectrographic readings.  Thanks to Tom Field for the image above (anyone with a DSLR camera can take spectra like this using Tom’s software at

Other scientists presented results from the comet’s last days at the 2013 Fall American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, Calif.  They described how ISON lost mass before reaching perihelion and most likely broke up during its closest approach, as well as theorizing what this means for determining ISON’s composition.  Other researchers are analyzing the comet’s tail and comparing that with other comets to determine all the facts possible.

Although ISON didn’t live up to the hype, the comets plunge to its death around the Sun has still provided cometologists with plenty of data for years to come.  So a final farewell to comet ISON, we hardly knew you.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +