Some think it a space ship, others think it the return of the planet Niburu, others say no, it’s a comet from the Oort cloud making its first voyage into or near our Sun. Interesting comparisons between the changing shape of ISON and certain crop circles.
Whatever ISON is, any comet that heralds from deep outside our solar system is a messenger from afar, bearing tidings in a foreign tongue, inviting us to expand our myopic, Earth-centered or even solar-system centered perspective and dip briefly into Mystery.
And that ISON is to “graze” the Sun on November 28, five days past the November 23rd one-time-only Uranus/Pluto heliocentric square, on Thanksgiving Day. Oh my! What great fate does ISON not portend?
From an article in Scientific American:
“Comet ISON was discovered in September 2012 by two Russian astronomers using telescopes in the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON). The comet, made mostly of water and carbon dioxide ice, has been slowly making its way toward the sun from the Oort Cloud, the roughly spherical cloud of comets thought to extend about a light-year from the sun, about a third of the way to the nearest star. The comet “is going from the absolute coldest place in the solar system to the absolute hottest,” says Matthew Knight, an astronomer at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. The ISON comet, known as sungrazer, will make its nearest pass to the sun on November 28, Thanksgiving Day, flying close to the surface. “We’ve never had a comet that seems to come directly from the Oort Cloud, on its first passage to the inner solar system in four billion years, all the way to within three solar radii of the solar surface,” says astronomer Michael Kelley of the University of Maryland, College Park. Kelley has been part of several campaigns to image ISON using telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona and the Canary Islands.”