Comet ISON progress report

Sky and Telescope reports here.

Here's where and when to find the comet in the next few days:

Photos courtesy

The comet symbol in the pictures is greatly exaggerated; to the naked eye, ISON will appear to be a star. The tail will be visible, though, in binoculars.

Perihelion (the comet's closest approach to the sun) will be on Thanksgiving Day. It will hopefully brighten rapidly thereafter as it becomes an evening object, visible shortly after sunset. Unfortunately it will also fade rapidly as it climbs higher in the sky. It still could fizzle, either by not brightening as much as expected or even by breaking up and disbursing on the other side of the sun. Or it could be a memory that will last a lifetime.

Here's a recent picture of ISON, taken by amateur astronomer Damian Peach in the U.K. using 4-inch f/5 refractor for 12 minutes of combined exposures on November 15th. It shows what even a relatively small telescope can do with a good imaging system!

Damian Peach
/Sky and

Hold your breath!


Popular Posts