Several KPLC viewers have been asking about the status of Comet ISON. Amateur astronomers around the world are taking pictures of Comet ISON as it approaches Mars in the early morning sky.
The comet is not as bright as some forecasters expected. So, what does that mean for the comet and the future viewing?
Currently, Comet ISON is about as bright as a 14th magnitude star, which makes it one or two magnitudes dimmer than forecasts. Nevertheless, according to several experts at NASA, Comet ISON is still on track to become an impressive sun grazer.
NASA predicts ISON will rival Venus during the hours leading up to its closest approach to the Sun in November. Some astronomers note that Comet ISON is brighter than Comet Lovejoy was at the same distance from the sun in 2011. As many of you may remember, Comet Lovejoy went on to become a very bright comet.
So, we will be watching the predawn sky as we approach the month of November. During this time, Comet ISON will make the approach toward the sun and should provide a great show in our SWLA, early morning sky.