Day 65: Comet ISON

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 7.54.36 PM

Comet ISON (Astronomy.com article) will be at perihelion on Thanksgiving Day and pass within one solar diameter of the sun’s surface. Traveling at over 800,000 mph, it may not survive to then begin its trip out of our solar system. Unlike Halley’s Comet, ISON’s path is hyperbolic so this is a once and done deal. Again Stellarium rises to the occasion and allowed me to see if ISON is visible now. Unfortunately, it rise just ahead of the sun in our eastern sky and it is not dark enough to see it. If it does survive its close encounter, by mid to late-December it is circumpolar (great for locating  and viewing it). Its magnitude will be around +5. Binoculars will help, but I am holding out hope that it will be visible with the naked eye!

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