Update On Comet ISON Post

I received a message from Tim Williams after the recent post about Comet ISON. Tim knows his stuff and caught some misleading statements I had made about the visibility of the comet during perihelion and shortly afterward. I try very hard to make sure all the information I present is accurate, but unfortunately I am not always successful.

In this case, I totally missed that the comet will not be visible on November 29 and probably will be visible on the 28th, at perihelion, only through special solar telescopes. Also, I should have emphasized better that the darker the sky and farther away from the sun, the better the comet is likely to be visible. It will be brighter the closer it is to the sun, because the sun is illuminating it, but it won’t show up well because there will be little contrast between it and the sky.

Beginning November 29, ISON rises earlier each morning and will be farther from the sun. From about December 5 until the 15th, the comet will shine in a moonless and dark sky when it rises. However, the farther from perihelion we get, the dimmer the comet becomes, so at some point it will fade from view. We just don’t know at what point that will be.

I’ve updated the post with the correct info. Thanks Tim, for keeping me straight!

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