Comet ISON update – Swinging around the sun, Images from NASA spacecraft, and more

As mentioned earlier, Comet ISON has brightened considerably as it has gotten closer to the sun. It will go behind the sun on November 28th and there is great interest in how the comet will be affected by this closest encounter to the sun’s intense heat.

Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program talks about Comet ISON and what might happened to it when it emerges from around the sun:

NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury and the STEREO solar science probes have returned images of the comet.

Here’s an image of ISON from MESSENGER:



Here’s a GIF animation of images from the STEREO showing not only ISON but also Comet Encke:

NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft is monitoring Comet ISON as it approaches the sun.
The latest movie from the spacecraft’s Heliospheric Imager shows Comet ISON,
Mercury, Comet Encke and Earth over a two day period from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2013.
The sun sits right of the field of view of this camera.
Image Credit:  Karl Battams/NRL/NASA STEREO/CIOC.


Lots of great pictures made by amateur astronomers can be found at Realtime Image Gallery


More info on ISON:



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Chris Hadfield and the earth from space + When did you fall in love with the stars? – R. Branson

Canadian astronaut, author and singer, Chris Hadfield writes eloquently about his views of earth while on the International Space Station: Chris Hadfield: We Should Treat Earth as Kindly as We Treat Spacecraft – Wired Science

A photo taken by Chris Hadfield:

 “Tonight’s finale: Austra­lia. Jackson Pollock would have been even further inspired by seeing the Outback from orbit.” (January 24, 2013, 3:25 pm) Chris Hadfield


Lots of people responded to a request from Richard Branson to tweet him about “When YOU fell in love with the stars” –

The Sun Live – a new app for Windows 8.1 and Phone 8

Here’s a message today from Jon Saalbach, the creator of the site and app The Sun Live:


The Sun Live is released today as an app for Windows 8.1, for Windows Phone 8 and available for other units as a web app.

As an amateur astronomer myself, I started developing The Sun Live to have an easy and convenient way to see what the Sun is up to today, and decide if there are sunspots or prominences I want to study in the telescope.

Amateur astronomers, armchair astronomers and other people alike will enjoy exploring the Sun’s surface layers in detail and follow sunspots, prominences and flares as they appear on the latest images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. For more solar action, check out the Picks of the Week, showing the most spectacular past events, chosen by NASA’s SDO team and illustrated with images, descriptions and video clips (not all the video clips are accessible on Windows Phone).

The fascinating facts will surprise and entertain you and provide you with interesting subjects for conversation. Even most amateur astronomers might learn something new here. If you want to go more in depth, the Learn More section will take you through the basics of the Sun’s structure, life cycle and its influences on life here on Earth.

For those ready to take on the Sun themselves, The Sun Live will show what they need to get started observing sunspots, planet transits, prominences and solar eclipses yourself. Dust off your old binoculars or zoom enabled camera and learn how to get a cheap and safe solar filter.

From the Windows/Windows Phone apps you can pin the current views or the latest pick of the week on your live tile and, on Windows Phone 8, as your lock screen background. Secondary tiles let you go directly to the feature you want to see on your Windows phone.

The Sun Live 2.0 for Windows Phone 8:

Download Link:

QR-code, screen shots and graphics available here:

The Sun Live for Windows 8.1:

Download Link:

QR-code, screen shots and graphics available here:

The Space Show this week

The guests for The Space Show this week:

1. Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, 2-3:30 PM PST (5-6:30 PM EST, 4-5:30 PM CST): We welcome DRAGOS BRATASANU to the program to discuss his film project, “The American Future.” Dragos Bratasanu is an award winning space scientist and consultant. 

He is the Founder & President of Success Engineering Corporation, company offering international clients access to the same tools and techniques used by NASA in their highly complex projects, including the Space Shuttle, space telescopes, robots on Mars, and space missions. Dragos is also s PhD candidate in space sciences at the University of Siegen in Germany and a graduate of the Business & Management Department at the International Space University Space Studies Program 2012 hosted by Florida Institute of Technology and NASA Kennedy Space Center.

2. Tuesday, Nov. 26 2013, 7-8:30 PM PST (10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST): We welcome CAED ALDWYCH, Commander of the Global Space Organization. Visit We will be discussing the GSO plans for going to the Moon and more.

3. Friday, Nov.29, 2013, 9:30-11 AM PST (11:30- 1 PM CST, 12:30PM-2:00 PM EST): We welcome back DR. ROGER LAUNIUS regarding his new book, Space Shuttle Legacy.

4. Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST). We welcome back space attorney Michael Listner for a space legal year in review for 2013.

See also:
/– The Space Show on Vimeo – webinar videos
/– The Space Show’s Blog – summaries of interviews.
/– The Space Show Classroom Blog – tutorial programs

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.