Amateur astronomers and skywatchers should get their first views of Comet ISON in August – but only those who have quite large telescopes; during August Comet ISON will still be far, far too faint to see with the naked eye or binoculars, and even the owners of small telescopes will have to wait a little longer before they catch their first glimpse of it. Even for the owners of those large scopes it will probably be quite challenging still, low in the pre-sunrise eastern sky, , but that’s when the hunting will begin and the real excitement will start to build. During the previous month ISON was too close to the Sun to be seen at all. By mid-August it will have drifted out of the Sun’s glare and we should all have a much better idea of just how bright ISON will actually get.

So, IF you have a large telescope, when and where do you start looking for ISON..? You’ll need to get up early (or stay up late!) because you’ll need to be out and looking before sunrise… As for finding it, well, a large modern telescope will probably have the comet in its database of objects, so you’ll just have to Enter its name and the scope will slew aeround to find it automatically. For everyone else, thankfully there will be a line of three naked eye planets in the eastern sky helping to guide us towards Comet ISON…

1 Aug 1

2 Aug 4

(Above) On August 4th a beautiful slender crescent Moon will be in the same area of sky as the planets and the comet. This will be a great time for those large telescope owners to start trying to photograph the comet…

3 Aug 11

(Above) On the morning of August 11th  the Moon will have gone but Comet ISON will be directly above Mercury, and on the end of a line with Mars and Jupiter. Even though your photographs won’t show it, this will be a great time to start practising your comet photography, just so you can get used to photographing a bright sky. Don’t worry that you won’t capture ISON, there’ll be lots more chances…

4 Aug 24

(Above) By August 24th the comet should be easier to see through those large telescopes, because it will be visible in a darker sky. As you can see from the picture above, it will now be drifting up towards the planet Mars, with Jupiter nearby too and the beautiful coloured stars of Orion to its right. This, really, is when ISON-watching will start to get interesting, because amateurs will start posting their images online and public interest in the comet will start to climb dramatically…

5 Aug 29

(Above) By August 29th the comet should look really nice in large telescopes, and may even have a littlel have a tail too, but we’ll have to wait and see…! Note the time – 04.22. ISON-watching is going to require a lot of early nights and a reliable alarm clock…! 🙂

9 Responses to “AUGUST 2013”

  1. Thanks for the info. I will be watching from NE Arkansas, USA .

  2. Can you give the above predictions for my location,or how to get it for my location.
    NE 23 deg latitude
    E 82 deg longitude.

    • Best thing to go is – if you have a smartphone – download a free astronomy app called Sky Safari, then you can set it for your location and use it to check the comet’s visibility.

  3. I am still waiting for Comet ISON!

  4. Hi, does this apply to Ozzie watchers as well?

  5. I understand that it is not really a comet ?

    • What? Seriously, how can you post a stupid question like that on this blog? This is a science site, with dozens and dozens of pages of scientific fact *telling* you it’s a comet.

    • You are correct. It’s actually a probe send from the Arsus sector, sent to see how the human race is progressing. If you wave as it goes by, it will change colors for you!

      Don’t believe “science.” Everyone knows most “scientists” are actually a bunch of dweebs who spend most of their time in their parents’ basement playing Xbox.

  6. […] August 2013. As seen from Earth, Comet ISON was behind the sun in June and July, 2013. Its recovery occurred on August 12, 2013 when amateur astronomer Bruce Gary of Arizona spotted it. In August, it was bright enough to be seen by observers using telescopes and other special equipment at dark locations. Look here for August 2013 finder charts for Comet ISON. […]

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