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Photos of Comet ISON: A Potentially Great Comet

Comet ISON En Route: Jan. 21, 2013

NASA

This NASA sky map shows the location of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), or comet ISON, on Jan. 21, 2013.

Newly Discovered Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)

Remanzacco Observatory/Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero & Nick Howes

This image shows the newfound comet C/2012 (ISON) as seen by the Remanzacco Observatory in Italy. The image, taken by amateur astronomers Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero and Nick Howes, is a confirmation view of the comet, which was first discovered by Vitali Nevski (Vitebsk, Belarus) and Artyom Novichonok (Kondopoga, Russia). Image released Sept. 24, 2012.

Comet ISON in Night Sky

John Chumack

Skywatcher Vernon Dye took this shot of Comet ISON on Jan. 8, 2012. Comet ISON c/2012 S1 is currently in the Constellation of Gemini, moving between the head of the Twins Castor and Pollux.

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Orbit Map

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

This NASA graphic shows the orbit and current position of comet C/2012 S1 (ISON). The comet is at present located at 6.25 AU from the sun, with 1 AU being the distance from Earth to the sun. Image released Sept. 24, 2012.

Comet ISON

Starry Night Software

Comet Nevski-Novichonok (ISON) as it may appear at sunset on Nov. 29, if it survives its close encounter with the sun the day before.

BRRISON Telescope Prepped for Gondola Attachment

NASA/JHUAPL

BRRISON’s 0.8-meter telescope is prepared for mating to the topmost part of the gondola.

Comet ISON Mission: Balloon Rapid Response Light Instrument Testing, Integration

NASA/JHUAPL

Technicians finish integration and testing on the ultraviolet/visible light instrument for NASA's Balloon Rapid Response for Comet ISON mission.

BRRISON Team Secured Topmost Section of Gondola

NASA/JHUAPL

At NASA’s Fort Sumner, N.M., Scientific Balloon Facility, the Balloon Rapid Response for Comet ISON (BRRISON) team secured the topmost section of the gondola (which primarily contains the telescope) onto the base plate, which holds BRRISON's many systems.

BRRISON Hang Test Annotated

Eliot Young/SwRI

Annotated picture shows the Balloon Rapid Response for Comet ISON instrument free-hanging, reusable gondola looking out the hangar doors at Jupiter.

Scientists Test BRRISON

NASA/JHUAPL

Scientists test and calibrate NASA's Balloon Rapid Response for Comet ISON 0.8-meter telescope before its Fall 2013 launch.

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