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Comet ISON

ISON_Nov15_Peach
Solar system imager Damian Peach caught Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) at its best so far in this image made November 15 with a 4-inch Takahashi FSQ-106 refractor at f/5. He attached an SBIG STL-11000 CCD camera and took five 2-minute exposures through a luminance filter and single 2-minute exposures through red, green, and blue filters. The field of view is 2.5° wide.
Damian Peach
Two astronomers found Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) glowing dimly at magnitude 18.8 on September 21, 2012. On November 28 of this year, ISON will lie closest to the Sun — a scant 680,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from its surface. Latest predictions indicate that it will peak at magnitude –4.5, equivalent to the brightness of Venus.

Comet ISON is already visible through small- to medium-sized telescopes from a dark site, and binoculars and naked eyes will come into play as it nears opposition.

On December 8, Comet ISON crosses into the northern sky. It should shine brighter than 1st magnitude and perhaps sport a spectacular tail. Northern Hemisphere viewers will get increasingly better views as Christmas approaches.
map-ison
Comet ISON reaches perihelion (closest to the Sun) November 28 and perigee (closest to Earth) December 26. // Astronomy: Richard Talcott and Roen Kelly
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