Comet ISON at Perihelion (Actual vs. Predicted Paths)
I superimposed the actual footage of Comet ISON passing by the Sun onto a graphic simulating its predicted path around the Sun at perihelion. They match!
This is an animation of Comet ISON at perihelion. I superimposed the actual SOHO satellite movie footage, released Friday, Nov 29, onto a still-image sky background (created with Starry Night™ software) that shows the scene at the moment of perihelion, and that displays the predicted orbital path of ISON plus labels the stars.
You’ll see the star fields (real and simulated) register fairly closely (check Antares at lower left) around the time of perihelion. It’s neat how the comet follows its predicted path! Well, of course! Newtonian gravity stills rules the solar system.
But I am amazed at how well the simulation (which is done from the viewpoint of the surface of Earth) lines up with the real movie (which was taken by the SOHO satellite from the L1 point 1.5 million km away from Earth but in the Earth-Sun line).
— Alan, November 29, 2013, revised Nov. 30 /with credit to StarryNight™/Simulation Curriculum and to NASA/ESA