Nene Valley Astronomical Society
The Local Society For Amateur Astronomers In Wellingborough & East Northants
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Comet ISON:
 
 
 
The Following Posted On November 19th:
 
With just over a week to go now until Comet ISON reaches perihelion (it's closest point to the Sun), it is now starting to get very low in the south-east pre-dawn sky.  An excellent horizon in this direction is therefore called for.
The chart below produced using Stellarium shows the comets position on the morning of 21st November at 5.45am, when it will lie beneath Spica and to the right of Mercury.  Current observations report that ISON's tail is now around seven degrees in length (as wide as the bowl of the Plough) and at around magnitude 5.  Whether Comet ISON will fragment at perihelion or disintegrate altogether remains to be seen.
 
 
The spectacular image below was taken by Michael Jager in Austria on November 17th and shows just how much Comet ISON's tail has developed over recent days.
 
 
The Following Posted On November 13th:
 
Comet ISON is currently reported to be around the 7th or 8th magnitude by various observers, so can be viewed through 7x50 binoculars.  In the next few days the Moon will start to interfere with viewing in the morning sky, so you'll need to be quick to view it in a dark sky.  There are also reports that the comet is currently undergoing some form of outburst at the moment, so this could potentially be good news in terms of an increase in the comets brightness.  This rather nice image of ISON was taken on November 12th by G Rhemann and is just one of many images of the comet available on the spaceweather.com website.
 
 
The Following Posted on November 10th:
 
The eagerly awaiting Comet ISON is now visible in the pre-dawn skies.  Current estimates place this comets brightness at magnitude 8, so although it's still got a little way to go to reach naked eye brightness, it should be visible in binoculars.
 
We'll be attempting to post regular updates on this comets progress over the coming days, however the two charts produced from Stellarium, show ISON's position on the mornings of November 13th and November 15th at around 5am.
 
 
 
Above:  Position of Comet ISON on November  13th at 5am.  Chart produced from Stellarium
 

Above:  Position of Comet ISON on November 15th at 5am.  Chart produced from Stellarium.