Here's a good article from The Independent in the UK on Comet ISON- which next Christmas may be knocking all our socks off.
Comet Hale-Bopp was called "the Comet of the Century" back in the '80's, and it certainly gave us a fine show. Well, the same title is being resurrected for ISON. New century, of course. But speculation is that next year's comet may be the brightest in several generations- perhaps as bright as the full moon!
Deo volente, this is gonna be a real treat, folks. Grab yourself some 7x50- or, better, 10x50- binoculars and head out to where the skies are dark to maximize the effect. It should be quite a show.
Oh. And bundle up, of course. And bring a thermos of hot coffee. And a lawn chair.
ADDENDUM: Lest I forget, cometary history may be about to repeat itself.
In ate January of 1966- as we awaited the arrival of the last "Comet of the Century," Hale- Bopp, a year later- a Japanese astronomer announced the discovery of Comet Hyukatake- another Great Comet which arrived in only two months later. Many observers actually preferred the ghostly, blue Hyukatake- which had the longest tail in cometary history- to the brighter and larger Hale-Bopp. After a 20-year draught, we had two Great Comets in a single year!
Well, while nothing, of course, is assured, Comet PanSTARRS also has the potential to dazzle, It's due to arrive this coming spring. While it doesn't figure to compare to ISON, we could once again have two Great Comets in a single year, this time even closer together- one for Easter, and one for Christmas.
Better get those binoculars soon.