Live Blog: Comet ISON’s biggest hour

Comet ISON reaches perihelion today around 1:40pm Eastern time, and the tension is building as it heads towards the sun. ISON is currently experiencing the most hostile conditions it will in its lifetime, with intense solar wind, incredible temperatures, and ridiculous speed as it rounds the sun. The comet brightened dramatically yesterday, and the brightness was saturating NASA’s SOHO LASCO satellite imagery. But today, the comet has faded as it approaches the sun. In fact, the newest reported attempts of photometric of the center of ISON suggest “there may be no active nucleus at all anymore”.

ISON will reach perihelion today, and we will know the fate of the comet shortly thereafter. If it survives its trip around the sun, it may put on quite a show as it comes around the other side of the sun..and may be visible from earth during the first and second weeks of December. If not, the comet may not emerge and will not be seen again. Our live blog will follow along with new images and information over the next hour. So stay right here!

Comet ISON rounding towards the sun on November 28th, 2013.

Comet ISON rounding towards the sun on November 28th, 2013.

1:49pm: The worry continues to build as analysis of Comet ISON’s last images prior to perihelion continue. The general opinion at this point is that ISON may be completely disintegrated. Stay tuned..

1:15pm: Still no Comet ISON in the NASA SDO view, which isn’t terribly concerning, but a bit off-putting considering it was scheduled to appear in imagery around 1245pm. Meanwhile, amateur astronomers are becoming increasingly concerned that ISON may have evaporated. The latest STEREO C2 imagery is not very encouraging.

1:05pm: We are still waiting to see ISON in NASA SDO’s approach satellite images. Meanwhile, you can follow along with a live chat/Google Hangout during the next hour as ISON approaches perihelion. Click here to check it out.

12:50pm: New images should begin streaming in from NASA SDO satellites as ISON makes its trip near the sun over the next hour. The latest reports out of amateur and professional astronomers are not very good, with a few noting that the brightest part of the comet is now its tail — which could mean the nucleus is dying or completely gone.

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