Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
This article, as well as a bunch of others published this week about Comet ISON, suggest to me that the comet is going to be a dud. These articles all are suggesting that we won’t know if the comet will be as bright as hoped until after it flies around the sun. This is absolutely wrong. As the comet drops down towards the sun it should heat up and begin brightening, producing a tail. This is what all comets do. If it doesn’t brighten on its journey in, then it won’t be bright on its journey out.
That the authors of these articles don’t know that, or are hiding it, is simply bad journalism. Moreover, this effort to spin the comet’s dimness now suggests that the comet is now far dimmer than hoped, which strongly suggests it will remain that way.