Comet Of The Century


Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Comet ISON is nearing its closest approach to the sun (28th November) and there is a Horizon special on TV on Saturday. It is hoped this comet as it gets closer to the sun could brighten to the most spectacular astronomical object in a generation.

But as is the case with comets there is no guarantee.

It was Comet Hale Bopp and Comet Hyakutake that really got me interested in astronomy in the first place. Fingers crossed comet ISON will be just as good or better.
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What comet did I observe every evening for some days in the mid to late 90s?

I used to leave work at 9.15pm and it was always visible if the sky was clear.
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Thanks Greenlantern101, it may have been Hale Bopp in 1996.I believe it was in the summer months but wouldn't swear to it! A stunning sight and was sad the day it was no longer there.
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You can never tell with comets but it has the potential of becoming bright enough to be visible in the daylight.

It goes without saying really but its proximity to the sun will mean that whatever you do, DON'T observe it with binoculars during daylight!
I have looked at the sun several times with a telescope and I'm fine. (for **** sake use a ****ing filter you ****ing **** sticks)
Reminder the Horizon special is on tonight at 9.15pm BBC2.

Good website.
Current best time to view is just before sunrise. Facing East. The comet is actually inside the orbit of Mercury at this time. It should be possible to see it with binoculars but it isn't recommended due to the proximity of the sun. A tracking telescope would be safer.

Finder charts below. The bright star in the centre is Arcturus.


Photograph from November 11th.
Well it looks as though it's all over, and what was feared all along for those hoping for a spectacular show in the sky has apparently come to pass. ISON appears to have been destroyed on its closest solar approach. The object formerly know as the "Comet Of The Century" has now become the antic-climax of the century:
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