Comet Ison Roars Through Leo
In the early morning of Oct. 25 (6:45 a.m. EDT), NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., used a 14" telescope to capture this image of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), which is brightening as it approaches the sun. The comet shines with a faint green color just to the left of center. The diagonal streak right of center was caused by the Italian SkyMed-2 satellite passing though the field of view. At magnitude 8.5, the comet is still too faint for the unaided eye or small binoculars, but it's an easy target in a small telescope.
At this time of this image, ISON was located in the constellation of Leo the Lion, some 132 million miles from Earth and heading in toward the sun at 87,900 miles per hour.
Image credit: NASA/MSFC/Aaron Kingery
Page Last Updated: November 4th, 2013
Page Editor: Brooke Boen