Astronomer Carey Lisse, the head of NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaign, hopes that "every telescope on Earth will be trained on the comet in October and November." He may get his wish. As September comes to an end, amateur astronomers around the world are already monitoring the comet.
"Comet ISON is approaching Mars in the pre-dawn sky," explains Lisse. "It is invisible to the naked eye, but within reach of backyard telescopes."
"I photographed Comet ISON on Sept. 15th using my 4-inch refractor," reports astrophotographer Pete Lawrence of Selsey UK. "The comet's tail is nicely on view even through this relatively small instrument." image
A new ScienceCast video explores the improving visibility of Comet ISON. Play it
In Aquadilla, Puerto Rico, astronomer Efrain Morales Rivera saw the comet on Sept. 14th "rising above the canopy of the rain forest just minutes before sunrise. I used a 12-inch telescope," he says. image
In mid-September, the approaching comet was glowing like a star of 14th magnitude. That's dimmer than some forecasters expected.
"Certainly we would love it to be a couple of magnitudes brighter right now," says researcher Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.,"but it's doing just fine. I'd say it's still on course to become a very eye-catching object."
More - Link >>> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/24sep_ison2/
Source: NASA Science News.
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