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What's Up with ISON -- Nov 24-26 Viewing Guide
What's Up: Brought to you by Jane Houston Jones
Star Map Showing Comet ISON Location on November 24, 2013/Star Map Showing Comet ISON Location on November 24, 2013

The next few days will be the last opportunity to view comet ISON before its close approach to the sun on November 28th.

Here's where to look near the south east horizon about an hour before dawn. Use the planets Mercury and Saturn as your guide. You can aim your phone stargazing app at the horizon to find these planets, if you are unfamiliar with where to look. On November 23rd, comet ISON will be about 7-10 degrees above the horizon, depending on where you live in the US. (Ten degrees is one clenched fist (GIF, 133 KB), tilted vertically and held at arms length away.)

Nov 24: Find comet ISON to the right of Saturn and Mercury -- only 4-7 degrees above the horizon, tho' its tail may be more visible facing away from the sun.

Star Map Showing Comet ISON Location on November 25, 2013/Star Map Showing Comet ISON Location on November 25, 2013

Nov 25: Comet ISON is 2-5 degrees below Saturn and Mercury. The planets are very close together, in conjunction!

Star Map Showing Comet ISON Location on November 26, 2013/Star Map Showing Comet ISON Location on November 26, 2013

Nov 26: On November 26 the head of the comet will be below the horizon, look for the tail!

Comet ISON.  Image courtesy of Damian Peach./Image of comet ISON
Comet ISON. Image courtesy of Damian Peach.

Here's a recent image of comet ISON. Your binocular or naked eye view will not show this much detail, but you'll be able to say you saw the comet, before its date with the sun!

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About: Jane Houston Jones
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Jane is an astronomer, NASA science podcast developer, writer, educational and outreach artisan and social media enthusiast. She and her husband have an asteroid (22338 Janemojo) named after them.
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Last Updated: 25 Nov 2013