Friday, November 15, 2013

Looking for the 'comet of the century'? Watch ISON online!

November 15, 2012
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Comet ISON is quickly growing in brightness as this month's climactic encounter with the sun approaches — but if you're looking for a cosmic spectacle, the best place to start is online.
 
Comet ISON has now become potentially visible to the naked eye. It makes an appearance an hour or two before sunrise in eastern skies, just above the bright star Spica in Virgo. This online finder chart from Sky & Telescope helps you locate ISON, as well as Comet Lovejoy and the planet Mercury.

You can also get comet updates via the Space Telescope Science Institute's ISONblog and the Comet ISON Observing Campaign's website. On Twitter, follow @ISONUpdates, @CometISONnews, @CometISON2013 and @SungrazerComets. Check out the Vimeo time-lapse videos from Roy SpencerJustin Ng and Randy Halverson.

the Slooh virtual observatory is offering a cheaper way to get in on the real-time view. Just tune in its webcast at midnight Sunday, via Slooh's website or its iPad app.
Slooh's host for the event, Paul Cox, will show live telescopic images from Slooh's observatory in the Canary Islands while he discusses the current state of the comet — and speculates on the possible outcomes of the Thanksgiving encounter. The ISON watch is the nightcap for a Slooh double feature also highlighting the Leonid meteor shower, which hits its peak this weekend.

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