Comet ISON Update

By: Jill Gilardi Email
By: Jill Gilardi Email

Comet ISON sightings are coming in from around the world. It's 10 times brighter than it was only three days ago before the outburst.
To the naked eye, ISON appears as a faint smudge of pale green light low in the pre-dawn sky.

The view through a telescope is more dramatic. The comet's tail has become a riotous crowd of gaseous streamers stretching more than 3.5 degrees across the sky.

Stargazers are capturing amazing views of Comet ISON in telescopes, but it can also be seen in binoculars and the unaided eye. The amazing thumbnail picture of ISON was taken on Friday morning by a man named Damian Peach.

ISON has suddenly brightened up but why? The increase in brightness and emergence of multiple gaseous streamers could be caused by fresh veins of ice opening up in the comet's nucleus. Rapid vaporization of ice by solar heat is a sure-fire way to boost a comet's visibility.

No one knows what is happening to Comet ISON. This could be the comet dying or just the first of many brightening events the comet experiences as it plunges toward the sun for a close encounter on Thanksgiving Day.

To see Comet ISON, you'll need to look east just before dawn. Sunrise occurs roughly around 7:13 AM. Attached is a map of the night sky to give you a visual as to where it will be located. Weather will be most favorable for viewing on Monday. Clouds will once again block the starry sky on Sunday morning.

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