Catch Comet ISON: sky guide

"Comets are like cats, they have tails and they do what they want" once said Canadian astronomer David H Levy,
who co-discovered Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.Of course, comets are not only like cats, they are like buses; you can wait ages for one, then a whole lot turn up all at once.Earlier this year we saw Comet PanSTARRS and the fainter Comet Lemmon.At the moment amateur astronomers are focused on a "comet convoy" in the morning sky. There's C/2013 R1 Lovejoy, discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy; the old reliable comet 2P/Enke, which orbits the Sun every three years; and C/2012 X1 LINEAR, which just brightened an astonishing 250 times.
You may be surprised by the number of comets just mentioned, but every year a handful or so of comets become "bright" by astronomers' standards. That is, they become bright enough to see in modest size scopes accessible to amateurs. Every couple of years we get a comet visible to the unaided eye, usually as fuzzy dot you can see only out in the bush.  Read More


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