ISON: Dud of the Century Dec 1, 2013 11:37:15 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 1, 2013 11:37:15 GMT -6
ISON: Dud of the Century
Early in 2013, I was made aware of two potentially bright comets that could put on a pretty decent display in our skies. First was Comet Pan-STARRS. Anticipation was high for this early spring comet, but it was a dim below average target...not even crossing the threshold of public viewing status. Nice for those of us who are Astronomers, but for the general causal person....nope.
Then, the media and Astro community got all hot and bothered about ISON. "As bright as the Moon!"...many kept repeating and reposting on the web. I was skeptical from the start and did not buy into it at all. I certainly was hoping for a good showing....but this one just wasn't gonna do it I felt...
But the mad hype continued and Astro Magazines were fanning the comet flames to a frenzy. Apps were created....and I must say that I did download two ISON apps with beautiful graphics to whet the appetite.
Early November provided Chicago Astronomers with the opportunity to observe this comet first hand in urban telescopes......and what we saw was quite disappointing. Indeed a comet, but not the "Comet of the Century!"...
It was not to be.
Now, I'm all for public awareness and education about astronomical phenomenon, but the hard-on hype that the astro community gave this ice cube was embarrassing...making all of us look like dorky geeks and chumps. By far.....Comet Lovejoy was the far better Comet to hype...but no press for that visitor.
It wasn't all bad...."comet scopes" will now go on discounted sale and some will get equipment for cheap....