More on Comet ISON

COMET ISON ON TRACK TO BECOME ‘IMPRESSIVE’: Amateur astronomers around the world are photographing Comet ISON as it approaches Mars in the predawn sky. The comet is not as bright as some forecasters expected. What does that mean for ISON’s future prospects? The answer may be found below this color photo of the comet obtained by UK astronomer Damian Peach on Sept. 24th:

Photo details: 17″ CDK with FLI-PL6303e camera. LRGB. L: 5x3mins. RGB: 1x2mins. Sun -18 to -14deg.

At the moment, Comet ISON is about as bright as a 14th magnitude star, which puts it one or two magnitudes dimmer than forecasts. Nevertheless, according to several experts speaking in a NASA video, Comet ISON is still on track to become an impressive sungrazer. John Bortle predicts ISON will rival Venus during the hours leading up to its closest approach to the Sun in November, while Matthew Knight notes that Comet ISON is brighter than Comet Lovejoy was at the same distance from the sun in 2011. As many readers remember, Comet Lovejoy went on to become a spectacular naked-eye object. Comet ISON might do the same.