ISON or Ice-off?

Comet ISON makes its long-awaited swing around the sun on Thanksgiving Day. In the first days of December it will emerge into the predawn skies as — as what? A glory easily visible to the unaided eye? A  fuzzy spot barely visible in binoculars? We still don’t know. Local viewers, here is what to do:

  • Read reputable astro-news, like Sky and Telescope‘s ISON page.
  • Come to the Hatter Planetarium’s “Sky this Month” shows on Sunday 12/1 at 4 PM or Tuesday 12/3 at Noon and 7 PM.
  • Check it out for yourself.
You can accomplish that last one by grabbing some binoculars and getting out about an hour before sunrise (i.e., about 6:15). Find a place with a flat horizon to the south-southeast. Scan the horizon using the image below as a guide. It will get fainter as the days go by, so get out at the first opportunity for the best view. Send local reports or images to iclarke (at) or tweet them to @GCPlanetarium.