Sunday, 24 November 2013

Super Comet ISON, how to view and spiritually experience this fabulous event!

Are you ready for the once in a lifetime experience of viewing Comet ISON, the 'Super Comet? Comet ISON will be the brightest we have seen in a long time as it heads closer to the sun, reaching the closest point on 28th November. This is a deeply spiritual time as the comet cause emotions to come to the surface and disrupts everyday life. Listen to any signs the universe may be giving you at this tumultuous time. 

Comets as bright as the Super Comet ISON are rare experiences indeed so this will be a fabulous spectacle to have the privilege to be able to see. For the past three months the Comet has been obscured by the sun but now it has come out of the Sun’s shadow and is visible to us here on earth. When it arrived many astronomers around the globe were very excited at it’s brightness. Some astronomers are even claiming that its brightness will out-shine that of our full moon! It is getting brighter and brighter as the days progress. Comet ISON’s tail stretched across 57,000 miles (92,000 km) in images snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope in April.  Now it is estimated that the tail length of Comet ISON is 16 million kilometers. The tail of the comet stretches more than 7 degrees across the sky making it almost as wide as the bowl of the Big Dipper.
Super Comet ISON
Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, says "This is a very exciting discovery. The comet looks like it could become a very spectacular sight in the evening sky after sunset from the UK in late November and early December next year.
"Our members will be eagerly following it as it makes its first trip around the Sun and hoping to see it shining brilliantly and displaying a magnificent tail as it releases powerful jets of gas and dust."

Comets are relics of an ancient time, and help us understand more about the universe in which we live.  They are relics of the time when our solar system first formed so they have a lot to tell us. At the beginning of their journey, comets see our Sun as a distant prick of light and it looks no different to any other star in the sky.

“This will be its first trip to the inner solar system, so ISON could contain volatile gases that other comets, making their umpteenth lap around the sun, have lost. That will give us a pristine glimpse of the material in the outer solar system 4.6 billion years ago, when ISON formed.” www.newscientist.com
Comet ISON is so important because it is a pristine comet as well as being a super comet. It has not been damaged by many trips close to our Sun and it is unchanged since it’s creation. It is hoped therefore that it will have much to tell us. On November 24th Scientists observed that some chunks of the comet may have broken off but it still remains relatively un-damaged by its travels.
Comet ISON taken from Namibia, Africa
Comet ISON is so named because it was first spotted on photos taken by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok from Russia using the International Scientific Optical Network telescope. It’s official label is comet C/2012S1. ISON originates in the Ooort cloud. The Oort cloud is the vast swarm of potential comet nuclei extending up to almost a light year from the Sun. Comet ISON was deflected out of the Oort cloud by a star and since then it has been travelling towards us. We know that the sun formed 4.6 billion years ago but we still have much to learn about how the planets were formed.

Comets are often thought of as ‘dirty snowballs’! They are basically big balls of dust and ice. They appear to us as stationery when they are actually moving very fast. Thousands fly through our solar system every year but most we cannot see with the naked eye.  The tail of a comet is caused by gas and dust streaming off the icy nucleus. NASA officials say “The pressure of the solar wind sweeps the material into a tail, like a breeze blowing a windsock.” Comet ISON’s tail stretched across 57,000 miles (92,000 km) in images snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope in April.

Many comets such as Halley’s comet have long elliptical orbits so we see them again and again as they pass our earth. Because of the nature of super comet ISON’s orbit however this is a one off for us, it won’t be coming back. It is on a hyperbolic orbit which will take it back out of our solar system for good.
Viewing of the Super Comet in December 2013
The Comet ISON is called a ‘sun-grazer’ because it passes so close to the sun. The danger of being a sun grazer may be that as it does this it will in fact break up and so we won’t be able to see it because the sun's heat, radiation and gravity could cause it to disintegrate. It could totally combust and explode at this point or illuminate in a dazzling light show for us all here on Earth. Scientists seem to be divided 50/50 as to whether it will survive or not. 

On Nov. 28, Comet ISON will swing within 800,000 miles (1.2 million km) of the sun’s surface. This is called it’s perihelion, the closest point to the sun. If it survives it will be then be seen in our skies again in December. Assuming it survives perihelion, in January 2014, Comet ISON will be at its closest to Earth, passing our planet by just 0.4 AU (about 60 million km) Don’t worry though it is not on course to collide with us or anything! Despite what doomsday predictions you may read!

Once we have seen whether the Comet ISON explodes near to the sun or not this will give us more information about how the planets formed at the dawn of time.  Analysis of the gases that are produced by the comets will give us more information about the temperature in which planets were formed and further ideas on how this happened. We will also be able to further examine the theory as to whether our water here on earth was brought to us from the comets. This will in turn helps us get nearer to the constant question we ask ourselves- are we alone in this universe?
Shared from thedialog.com

Comets contain all the essential ingredients for amino acids, the building blocks of life. However with the extreme conditions these comets go through the combination doesn’t always work to ensure life may begin. In these hostile conditions can the chemicals combine to provide these building blocks of life? Scientists have looked at comets in the lab and think that possibly the destructive impact of comets when they hit a planet may actually cause the chemical reaction required to create amino acids. This would mean that this could happen throughout our solar system and indeed the universe. We won’t be able to sample comet ISON itself to find a lot of the information we need so will have to rely on it’s gases and how it behaves near to the sun. However a mission has been launched towards a comet that will pass near Jupiter in November 2014, comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. This comet will reach perhilion in April 2015. This mission was launched in 2004 and is called the Rosetta Stone, it will provide the most detailed investigation of a comet ever.

Comet ISON is predicted if it survives it’s journey to be brighter than has been seen in a long time. It could even be brighter than the Comet Ikeya-Seki in 1965; this was the last ‘super comet’. Since then we had a good showing with Comet McNaught in 2007 and comet Lovejoy in 2011 but this comet in November 2013 should be much more spectacular! It is said that ISON is one hundred times brighter than Comet Lovejoy. One famous comet in 1066 made its way onto the Bayeux tapestry!

The best time to see the comet is in the pre-dawn sky, looking east just before the sun rises. You will need to have dark sky and a clear horizon. Once the sun rises the light will be too bright and will obscure the light from the planet. As the days continue in November the comet will get lower in the sky making it harder to be seen but it will actually be getting brighter as well as the days progress. The best viewing will be if the Comet survives its graze with the sun, in early December as it climbs up again in our sky.
Comet ISON in our Eastern sky
Comets like many astrological events such as meteor showers have the reputation of ‘shaking things up’ a little. We may therefore be experiencing a certain amount of turmoil in our lives at the moment. Comets together with meteorites used to be a quite a frightening occurrence. Some thought that they were sent as a message from the Gods who were possibly not pleased! Luckily today we know so much more about our universe we know not to be scared by this occurrence but to be in awe at the wonder of our universe! Some interpretations of the Bible claim that a bright comet heralds the second coming of Christ.

Jonathan Cainer has written that “we can expect the comet to raise awareness, promote healing, foster hope, inspire a quest for peace and help us wake up to the potential for higher consciousness.”

In terms of astrology the comet will be in Virgo in the first week of November, Libra from the 9th of November to the 19th and then Scorpio from 20th November for one week. From the 28th November it is in Sagittarius and there we have the really big news since it then sling shots round the Sun in Sagittarius and appears to go retrograde, moving back through the zodiac from then on. More information on the astrological details of the super comet can be found here: http://www.midlandsschoolofastrology.co.uk

So this wonderful celestial experience may make your life go into free fall for a little while but be assured this will be for a reason. Enjoy the viewing experience and listen to your own heart as to what message this comet might be bringing with it.

If you miss this one then there is another comet due next year. Hopefully though the site of comet ISON will be a fabulous pre-Yule treat!

“Another comet is also set to put on a reasonable show in the night sky next year.
Comet Pan-STARRS (C/2011 L4) which was discovered by an automatic survey from Hawaii in June last year is expected to be bright in the evening sky after sunset next March and as bright as the brightest stars.” www.telegraph.co.uk

Happy Super Comet viewing, enjoy this wonderful celestial adventure!

Celestial blessings, Alison xxx


  1. wow, isn't this amazing!!!Makes one feel so very small,

  2. Thank you for all the charts, I was afraid I had missed this. We've had so much going on, and still have a lot more going on, that I just haven't had the chance to look all of this up. *hugs*