The Spectacular Arrival of Comet ISON
The Astronomy and Astrology

Nick Anthony Fiorenza

Comet ISON and Mars just after their conjunction.

Comet ISON and Mars November 1, 2013, just before Sunrise in the eastern sky (Northern Hemisphere). This occurs slightly after the long-standing ISON-Mars conjunction in earlier Leo. ISON's brightness and tail-length are approximations.
Sky Simulation: Nick Anthony Fiorenza

Comet ISON's arrival in November 2013 is expected to be spectacular, one of the brightest, that will be visible to the unaided eye from November through early January 2014. This comet's actual designation is C/2012 S1 (ISON). ISON has become the nickname for this comet, but ISON, attached to the designation C/2012 S1, simply identifies the location of where the comet was discovered—the "International Scientific Optical Network" in Russia.

Comet ISON was discovered on September 21 2012 by two Russian astronomers, Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok. After the typical verification process by other teams of astronomers, the discovery was announced on September 24 by the Minor Planet Center.

Due to a few inquiries about this Comet, I am posting initial star charts and data I have planned for this web page for those interested in exploring now. Most likely, I will not be adding much of my own interpretation about ISON here until a later date. I am however presenting material about ISON's influence throughout each lunar cycle in each of the monthly Lunar Planners—the first of which is the April 2013 Lunar Planner.

*** Events specific to each lunar cycle are listed at the bottom of this article—added as they occur.

Comet's are stimulators and messengers—the heralds of the heavens—something to keep in mind when exploring a comet's path through the heavens and the alignments it makes with stars, planets and other key locations in the heavens. I reveal most of these in the videos and star charts below—all of which articulates ISON's story line.

Hubble's view of Comet ISON October, 2013

In this beautiful up-close view of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope, we can see that Comet ISON is still very active and very much in one piece!

[Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the
Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)]
October 2013

NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign

Although we will not begin to see ISON until the end of the year (Oct-Nov 2013), from an astrological perspective, this event starts now, in early April 2013. Exploring its path from its origin in Gemini through its encounter with Sun in Ophiuchus reveals many factors that lend insight into ISON's message.

An Orbital View of Comet ISON

Let us first take a look from a solar system perspective, shown in the video below. Here we are looking down upon the solar system from a view point far above the Sun, which provides an orbital view of ISON entering the realm of the inner planets.

ISON enters the orbit of Mars very near where Mars is in its orbit at the time. ISON will not hit Mars as it might seem from this view point, but it does come close. ISON north of Mars.* ISON's closest approach to Mars occurs on October 1, 2013 at a distance of about 0.072 AU (10,800,000 km). ISON also maintains a close conjunction with Mars for a few weeks in October and November, which we will explore in the star chart below.

•ISON has a 61.86° Orbital Inclination. It enters the solar system from the north. It dips slightly south of the ecliptic plane for a brief period and then heads back north at the time of its perihelion.

ISON accelerates as it approaches and whips around the Sun. ISON's perihelion (closest point to the Sun) occurs on November 28 (18:21 UT). Its distance to the center of the Sun at this time is 0.01244190314425 AU (~1,800,000 km). It will graze the Sun's surface by about 1,100,000 kilometers (680,000 mi).

ISON's closest approach to Earth occurs on December 26, 2013 at a distance of about 0.42 AU (63,000,000 km; 39,000,000 mi)—assuming it made its way safely around the Sun. (All orbital data: JPL)

Note: It is common for there to be updates to orbital parameters of comets, so this data may change slightly. Its trejectory may also change after it passes around the Sun.

ISON Orbital Animation by Nick Anthony Fiorenza ©2013 / Carina Software

Comet ISON Interactive Model - Compliments of INOV Virtual Environments
WebGL Capable Browser Required (Click on Image to open)

ISON Interactive Model by INOV Virtual Environments

A View of Comet ISON from Earth

ISON was discovered in sidereal Gemini as it was entering our solar system just before its last retrograde loop. As seen from Earth, ISON makes progressively larger retrograde loops each year as it moves closer to Earth, as shown in the star chart below. These occur around the head of the Gemini Twins Castor and Pollux—our first and very prominent indicator to consider to derive astrological meaning.

Retrograde loops occur because we, on Earth, are orbiting around the Sun, thus as we observe ISON heading directly toward us, it appears to loop back and forth in the backdrop of the stars. It is merely our vantage point that is continually changing.

ISON completes its final retrograde loop on April 7 (curiously during the Venus-Mars-Eris synodic synchronization). Ceres arrives on the scene to conjoin ISON on May 3. They are within a degree in ecliptical latitude. ISON then moves through Gemini and Cancer. From our view, Mars catches up to ISON in late sidereal Cancer on September 22, under the auspices of the Head of the Lion. The two remain in a tight conjunction (due to the Ison-Mars flyby) until their mutual conjunction with Regulus of Leo in mid-October. Needless to say, this long standing conjunction creates a primary and stimulating energetic, and provides another significant astrological consideration. ISON then starts to accelerate, leaving Mars behind.

ISON crosses from north to south of the ecliptic plane on November 9 on the anti-vernal point of Earth's Precessional Cross (~5° sidereal Virgo)—another key indicator. Accelerating more, it moves through sidereal Virgo in just a couple of weeks and conjoins Spica and Archturus on November 17. ISON should become visible to the unaided eye in late October or early November.

The Path of Comet ISON Star Chart

In addition to the May 3 Ceres conjunction, ISON has several other encounters as it leaves the gate of its last station in sidereal Gemini. Vesta conjoins ISON on May 25 conjoining Alzirr (the other foot of Pollux). Mercury's retrograde conjoins ISON, with its first conjunction occurring on June10 (triggered by the pre-Crescent Moon-not shown). Venus conjoins ISON on June 15. Mercury, now retrograde, conjoins ISON again on July 4. Mercury Synod, empowered in its domicile, occurs on July 9. The Sun conjoins ISON on July 14, also conjoining Pollux within a degree. This is not the ISON perihelion, ISON is just on the far side of the Sun at this time. ISON conjoins Varuna on July 25 (both in ecliptical longitude and latitude) as it leaves sidereal Gemini. Mercury, now direct conjoins ISON for the third time, now in early sidereal Cancer. All of this leads into the primary Mars-ISON conjunction, mentioned above.

ISON's tail begins to enlarge as it moves through sidereal Libra (shown in the lower part of the following star chart). ISON should become visible to the unaided eye at this time.

The Path of Comet ISON around the Sun

The May 24-25, 2013 Lunar Eclipse (the last in the April-May trilogy of eclipses) occurs at the exact location of ISON's turning in November, conjoining Dschuba and Yed Ophiuchus. This eclipse sets up a key energetic over the following six months for ISON's most prominent placement in November. Dschuba says if you want to change directions, change directions. ISON dramatically points this out!

ISON makes a prominent 'helically rising' conjunction with Saturn and Zubenelgenubi of Libra on November 24. This is another primary event adding to the story line of ISON's messianic journey. Synchronistically, this star marks Saturn's exalted location in the ecliptic. It is curious timing for ISON and Saturn to conjoin here! Zubenel-genubi is the southern star of the scales of Libra, also the southern claw of the Scorpion. Its theme is about Karmic Responsibility / patterns of the past.

The Helical Rise of Comet ISON and Saturn November 23-24 2013

The Helical Rise of Comet ISON and Saturn a few days before ISON disappears behind the Sun. Conjoining star Zubenelgenubi is obscured by sunlight.

ISON exactly conjoins Dschuba of Scorpio in both ecliptical longitude and latitude on November 27, a day before it whips around the Sun. Dschuba, Head of the Scorpion, impels us to become responsible cocreators in how we use our creative power, and to take responsibility for our life experience rather than being a victim of it. Dschuba says if you want to change, change.

ISON and the Sun conjoin at the foot of Ophiuchus, where ISON is pulled around the Sun. Here it also moves from south of the ecliptic plane back northward, a day later on November 29. ISON now heads in its new direction to Yed Ophiuchus, the Hand of Death, where it arrives on December 6.

In our orbital view (shown in the movie above), ISON is now on its way out of the inner Solar System, heading toward Earth. ISON moves further northward through the heavens from our view, up along the Neck of the Serpent. It makes passage by the star Marsic of Hercules on December 16, where it then moves through and over Corona Borealis (The Northern Crown) and into Hercules. It makes its passage by Earth on December 26, 2013 at a distance of 0.43 AU from Earth—leaving us a tremendous message and stimulating energetic.

1 AU is the mean distance between Earth and the Sun (149,597,870.700 kilometers or 92,955,807.273 miles).

Comet ISON in Hercules after after its perihelion, before sunrise December 2013.

I will add more to this web page, including my star material and interpretation, at a later date. I hope this pre-post helps those interested in exploring ISON, both astronomically and astrologically.

Comments and discussion are invited below.

Comet ISON December 15, 2013, just before Sunrise in the eastern sky (Northern Hemisphere). This occurs after ISON's perihelion and re-emergence from the Sun. ISON's brightness and tail-length are approximations.

Comet ISON alignments presented in the monthly Lunar Planners

 ISON-Ceres alignment: Discussed in the April 10, 2013 Lunar Planner.

ISON Vesta alignment aspecting the Uranus-Pluto Square from the Crescent through First Quarter Moon. The May 24-25 Lunar Eclipse (the last in a trilogy of eclipses) occurs at the exact location of ISON's turning in November, conjoining Dschuba and Yed Ophiuchus. This eclipse sets up a key energetic over the following six months for ISON's most prominent placement in November. Discussed in the May 10, 2013 Lunar Planner.

 ISON-Mars Month-long Conjunction: Discussed in the September 5, 2013 Lunar Planner.

 A new article Posted on September 26, 2013
Exploring the Mars-Comet ISON month-long conjunction starting on the September 22, 2013 equinox.

Redefining the Administrative Use of Power & Resources & the Great Turning in April 2014
The Message of Mars & Comet ISON

with a glimpse into the Mars, Ceres and Vesta
synchronous retrogrades with Makemake and Haumea
& The Mars-Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto Grand Square of April 2014

Comments about this article and Discussions about Comet ISON can be made below.

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