So, here we are… January 2014… by now Comet ISON will probably have dropped below naked eye visibility, or may even be so faint it can only be seen through a telescope, but hey, you never know, it might surprise us. And anyway, no matter how faint it is, around the world many thousands of skywatchers will be looking for it on each and every clear night, seeing it for as long as they can before it dims beneath the reach of their own telescope or equipment. But that’s all part of the fun! Holding onto a comet for as long as you can, seeing it as often as you can, until it’s lost to you forever.

Ok, let’s look at where the comet will be through January…

After dark on New Year’s Day the comet will be high in the notrthern sky, with its tail pointing up towards the Pole Star – and that’s where it itself will be heading throughout early January, too… for the next few images look to the top right of the picture to see the day… NOTE: By January 6th the comet will be so close to the pole it will be ‘circumpolar’, it will never set as seen from UK latitudes… yes!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

1 Jan 6pm

2 Jan 6pm

5 Jan 6pm

By January 10th ISON will have passed the Pole Star…

7 Jan 6pm

…and by the 15th it will be almost overhead as darkness falls…

15 Jan 6pm

In fact, if you look to the east at this time, the view will be a lot better, because there’ll be a lot more interesting “stufF” down near the horizon…

15 Jan 6pm b

By January 20th the best views of the comet will, I think, be in the morning, lo0oking east before dawn, when the comet will be dropping down towards the constellation of PERSEUS and ANDROMEDA…

20 Jan 4am

By January 25th (the day after my birthday… just saying… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) thje comet will be very close to the cluttered starfields of Perseus…

25 JAn 4am

…and as January 2014 ends (that’s a whole YEAR away as I sit here writing this!!! Unbelievable!!!) the comet will be here…

31 Jan 4am

…and that’s your lot, my friends. For now, at least; if ISON is still bright and active enough at the end of January next year to be followed a bit longer, I’ll do some more charts for February and March then, but I’m not going to do that now!

I hope you find these charts useful, and that they will help you find, follow and enjoy the comet. I hope it doesn’t let us down, and that it really puts on a show to remember for the rest of our lives, but that’s out of our hands and beyond our ability to predict, so please, just use these charts to help you plan where and when to be looking. And one last warning -please, PLEASE do not look at the tail lengths on these images and think that’s how it will look. These pics should just be used as guides to help you look in the right direction at the right time – they’re absolutely NOT predictions of the comet’s appearance.

I wish you all good luck, clear skies, and a magnificent comet at year’s end!

Stuart Atkinson








27 Responses to “JANUARY 2014”

  1. There’s a real chance we will pass through Ison’s incoming tail around mid-January. If so, that could provide quite a meteor shower. Watching rough simulations suggests Ison will have begun to develop a tail in the region that we cross it’s debris path.

  2. […] January 2014. Will ISON still be visible to the eye? Hopefully. Only time will tell. On January 8, 2014, the comet will lie only 2ยฐ from Polaris โ€” the North Star. And hereโ€™s something else thatโ€™s fun. On January 14-15, 2014, after the comet itself has passed but when Earth is sweeping near the cometโ€™s orbit, it might produce a meteor shower, or at least some beautiful night-shining or noctilucent clouds. January finder charts for Comet ISON here. […]

  3. You have done a fantastic job with this web site. Thanks for doing all the hard work. Hopefully we are treated to the actual “comet of the century”
    Only time will tell. Clear skys to all

  4. Same here, Londoner…..now based in the NW.

  5. My birthday is also on the 24th Jan. Born just in time to see England win the World Cup.! Perhaps three people having the same birthday is a kucky omen for ISON and its observers. I live in a place called Whittlesey, Cambs with big dark flat eastern horizon. Just hope the weather gives me a break for this Christmas comet.

  6. Hi All. I live in Essex. At aprox 8am today, I saw aprox 9 ‘shooting stars’, travelling eastwards. The sky was really clear and the sun still low at this time. Could these have been part of ISONs tail?

    • Interesting, but I’ve heard no reports of anything like this from anywhere else, so can’t say what you saw, but experts seem agreed that any meteors caused by Comet ISON dust burning up will be faint and few.

  7. I saw what might be this comet. I saw it in the morning today January 14, 2014 at 7:10 a.m. in Laredo, Texas. It was the most amazing shooting thin i’ve ever seen. Even with the morning sunlight i was able to see it clear. It looked about five times bigger that the normal stars i see and lasted about 5 to 6 seconds. It had a very bright, greenish color. Can anybody tell me if this is what i saw?

    • Patty, it sounds like you saw a bright shooting star, or even a fireball (a long lasting, particularly bright shooting star) which is brilliant! You didn’t see the comet because there’s no comet to see anymore, it basically fell apart when it rounded the Sun at the end of November. All that is left now is a cloud of dust, and no-one has found that yet despite looking with some of the world’s best telescopes. But seeing a fireball is rare, so well done ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Nostradamus predicted that the 3rd world war would start after the passing of the great comet. Is this the comet?

  9. ISON is STILL alive ????

  10. If Ison is no longer visible, the what did I and two others see at roughly 530pm or so in the sky over Vernon Co. ,Missouri on Jan. 21. Looking to the southwest, saw clearly in detail, what we perceived to be the comet using field glasses. Are we mistaken?

    • A few details to go with the above post…there were two tails that appeared to be of a gaseous substance. It was very detailed. The object itself appeared to be a roiling fireball. It moved very slowly as we did not have to track it across the sky.It changed its trajectory twice, making a right turn towards us to where we were viewing it head on. The tails were no longer visible. It was the most amazing thing. Quite stunning. The detail was remarkable. If not a comet, then what?

    • Yes, I’m afraid you are mistaken. ISON is, simply, gone. If anything is left at all it is a very thin, very, very faint cloud of dust grains, certainly nothing that can be seen with the naked eye. Searches by some of the most experienced and skilled amateur and professional astronomers in the world, using state of the art computer processing techniques and very hi tech telescopes have turned up nothing. I doubt even Hubble will be able to see what’s left. So, yes, you are mistaken, I’m sorry.

  11. So if not Ison, then do you have any ideas or input on what we may have seen? It has us extremely perplexed. I have checked with local law enforcement and it appears the three of us are the only witnesses. We did see this object and it was stunning in its detail. Please. Thank you.

  12. Hi there,
    I was fishing on the 31/01/14 on the river trent, Newark, UK and I saw some thing that amazed me, it was a massive white star looking thing with a massive white trail, it was traveling at a speed like a shooting star, I often fish in the area and always see shooting stars but this was totally different, it seemed to be very close to the earth and looked like it lite the whole sky up for a spilt second, as you can tell I haven’t a clue about astronomy or any thing like that but after seeing that I had to find out what it was, it was traveling from right to left at truly amazing speeds but just like a shooting star it appeared and vanished in a flash, after looking at this page and the images of the ison comet on the date I saw it I’m sure it must have been it, it was spot on where it said you would see it that night but I’m a little confused after reading comments that it burnt out a while a go, any feed back or answers would be gratefully appreciated
    Regards Glyn

    • Glynn, thanks for your comment. You didn’t see ISON because that Comet disintegrated as it rounded the Sun on Nov 27th. What you saw sounds like a very bright meteor or fireball. They can be dazzlingly bright. Nice one!

  13. Hi! great work on this website ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am no stargazer, however I was at Rainbow serpent Music festival on Friday 24 January 2014 which is held in Lexton (Victoria, Australia). Me and my friends were watching the sunset, however I am not sure what time exactly, and amongst the orange sky we noticed a bright light appear. I was convinced I had seen a UFO slightly after it dissapeared and whilst we were joking about how no one would believe us, we saw it reappear! however this time it seemed larger and had a tail light and lasted a lot longer… is this simply a fireball? would love to confirm and it would be awesome if it was a comet of some type as I have seen many shooting stars before however this was extremely different.

    any help would be much appreciated, Thanks again!

    • Thomas, thanks for leaving your comment. It sounds like you saw a bright meteor or fireball that night (my birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) . Or maybe a faraway plane with its vapour trail illuminated. You definitely didn;t see a comet though, as comets move very, very slowly. They drift across the sky for weeks, sometimes months, changing position only slightly night after night.

  14. I wish I looked for this information earlier but nevermind ๐Ÿ™‚ One morning, I think it might have been January, I was about to get into the car to go to work. It was around 8am, in UK. Clear sky. And I saw something that looked like a shooting star. It travelled from South to North (I think) with a whooshing sound and was very fast, as all shooting starts are. My husband who was driving didn’t see it as he was looking down. Could it be a part of ISON?

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