Comet ISON Meets the Sun
Dr. Rachel Smith, Director, Astronomy & Astrophysics Laboratory, will describe the details of this unusual comet, its orbit close to Earth on its passage toward grazing the Sun and eventual breakup, and the nature and scientific importance of cometary bodies in the solar system.
Image of Comet ISON taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) on April 10, 2013, when, at 386 million miles, ISON was slightly closer to the Sun than Jupiter. A model analysis of the image reveals the solid, icy nucleus of ISON a jet blasting dust particles off the Sunward-facing side of the comet's nucleus. The dust tail extends more than 57,000 miles, far beyond Hubble's field of view (Image credit: NASA).