Astra's Comet Page


Vagabonds from space visit the inner solar system!

Here's What's Up!

Damien Peach image of comet ISON November 7, 2013 The holiday comet is here at last. Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), the new sun grazing comet was discovered on September 21, 2012 by Artyom Novichonok and Vitali Nevski, using a 16-inch telescope that is part of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON). Its nicknamed the Holiday comet because its perihelion date is November 28, Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and it is expected to return to the night sky in time for Christmas, 2 weeks later.
©2013 Damian Peach - This image was taken on November 7, 2013

NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign

Comet ISON comes to Life - John Bortle reports from Sky & Telescope also provides charts
Comet ISON is Coming - Michael Kelley Blog

Until perihelion the comet is in the morning sky and currently can be seen in binoculars. Look near Spica and Mercury. The Minor Planet Center also provides empherides that can be imported into your planetarium programs and telescope pointing programs. This includes Astra's favorite open source planetarium program Stellarium.

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Recent Comet Brightness Estimates - reported to the Minor Planet Center at Harvard. Check here to see what comet observations have been made and submitted to the Center. Magnitude estimates are made by the astronomers and are subjective unless otherwise stated.

Read Astra's Comet Paper!

Images of the original artwork by Lauri Kunkel! ! !

My observations of past comets:

Read Trailing the Comet Hale-Bopp, Astra's observations of C/1995 01
Observations of Hyakutake - Mar 16.26, Mar 23.23, Mar 24.26 & Closest Approach - - by Astra

Links to Great Comet Stuff!

Make A Comet Ephemris for your location!

Comet Hunters

My Comet Hunting Hero - David Levy's Home Page - Lastest Discovery October 2006

The Comet Hunter - Don Machholtz (discovered 11 comets)

Comet Missions and Exploration from Space!

Great Comets that shone during the Age of Information:

Comet 2006P/1 McNaught

The brightest comet of the new millenium so far! C/2006 P1 a.ka. Comet McNaught
Discovered by Robert McNaught of the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia on August 7, 2006. Perihelion was January 12, 2007. Peak magnitude estimate -0.6! So long, Comet McNaught, it won't be back to visit the inner solar system again.

Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3

In 1995, Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 split into "mini-comets" flying single file through space, much like Shoemaker/Levy9 that crashed into Jupiter. Closest approach to Earth: 5 million miles on May 15, 2006.

Comet Hale-Bopp

Old comets never die, they merely fade....

OR crash into planets....OR break up into pieces....OR hit the sun...Or are flung out of the solar system never to return

Comet Hyakutake Pages

1993E The Comet that collided with Jupiter! Links to info on SL9

And when they fade, they really's a Halley Page:

Views of the Solar System Halley Page
Well, 1986 was a bit before the age of information, wasn't it???

What's the fuss?
- Comet Elenin will not destory the Earth - Astro Bob

Last update: November 18, 2013