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This new view of Comet ISON was taken with the TRAPPIST national telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory on the morning of Nov. 15. (Photo: E. Jehin/ESO)This new view of Comet ISON was taken with the TRAPPIST national telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory on the morning of Nov. 15. (Photo: E. Jehin/ESO)

Stephen Cook: This comet is being noted for many things, including its positive energetic flow-on to us all. For a complete overview of how to view Comet ISON, check out the links within this article. The Mother Nature Network report is particularly good.

By Jenalyn Villamarin, IBT – November 26, 2013 | Thanks to Golden Age of Gaia.


The close flyby of the 2013 Comet ISON to the Sun on Thursday, November 28, brings a rare celestial viewing opportunity. Given below are some safe tips on how to best view the “Comet of the Century” on perihelion day.

In the Huff Post Science report, the astronomers currently believe that Comet ISON is rapidly brightening up, therefore making the space object easily visible to the naked eye under the dark sky. The comet may grow brighter until it reaches perihelion on Thursday and it becomes visible even in daylight but viewers may be in danger from the solar glare.  

The astronomers will be observing Comet ISON during daytime but they will block the Sun’s disk then carefully look close-by to pick up the space object.

“If you try to observe Comet ISON on or around Thanksgiving, when it’s near the Sun, DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN! This could blind you and make the observation the last one you will ever make,” the Huff Post report said.

Bob King of Universe Today, a long-time amateur astronomer and member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), also suggests that viewers should block out the Sun’s glare with power poles, buildings, roof gables, church steeples or even clouds to serve as sun filters. “They effectively remove the sun and allow you to look as close as is safe. Safety is critical here – never look directly at the sun. The damage to your retina will be swift and painless. No comet is worth losing your precious sense of sight,” Mr King noted.

He further added: “I’ve been asked if you can simply hold an appropriate solar filter over your eye to dim the sun. Yes you can, but the filter will also completely block your view of the much, much fainter comet. Use the filter instead to dim the sun so you can hunt nearby for the comet.”

Comet ISON can be seen through binoculars given there is a bright twilight and little obstruction from the last quarter Moon. Viewers must find the perfect horizon to the southeast as the comet lies underneath Spica, the brightest star in Virgo and planets Saturn and Mercury.

Another suggestion for the viewers is to wait until Comet ISON resurfaces on the other side of the Sun two or three days later. On Saturday, November 30, the “Comet of the Century” will rise approximately 30 minutes before the Sun and become visible in significant twilight.

However, the Mother Nature Network report points out that staring at the Sun and Comet ISON can be a risky activity for the viewers’ eyes so the Web site recommends to watch the comet’s close flyby to the Sun online on Thanksgiving Day as an alternative.

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