Unless something dramatic happens, during August and September Comet ISON will be the exclusive reserve of amateur astronomers with large telescopes. But by October the owners of much more modest telescopes will get their turn, and swinging our humble 4″ and 6″ telescopes towards its area of sky we should be able to enjoy our first sightings of it. I don’t think it will be quite bright enough to see through binoculars yet – maybe early next month. Naked eye? NO chance, not untuil the start of November or more likely the middle of November, sorry…

Anyway, during October ISON should be easy for the owners of small telescopes to find because of the company it will be keeping: ISON will be shining close to the bright star Regulus at the head of Leo, and both Mars and the Moon will be close by too. And with Jupiter in the same area of the sky, the view at the start of October could be very promising… This will be when people with DSLRs start trying to photograph the comet just by pointing their cameras at the sky and taking long exposure photos.

11 Oct 1

Just look at that lovely grouping – the comet close to Mars AND a beautiful fingernail clipping thin crescent Moon…

On October 2nd (below), this prospect will greet you if you get out of bed early and look to the east before dawn…

14 Oct 2

By October 10th *(below) the comet, Mars and Regulus will be VERY close together in the sky and just crying out to be gazed at through small telescopes…

15 Oct 10

On the 14th (below) they will be even closer…

… and on the morning of the 15th the comet, Mars and Regulus might even all be in the same small telescope field of view… 🙂

16 Oct 15

By the 17th (below) comet, star and planet will be forming a tight triangle…

That should be an absolute wow!! in a small telescope’s low power eyepiece, and a Must Try photograph for anyone with a telephoto lens 🙂

Got to get a photo of that…!

By the 19th (below) that triangle will have broken, leaving ISON to sail on past the bright star and Mars and head towards the dawn, towards its perihelion rendezvous with the Sun in late November…

Again, what a shame we can’t actually see the constellation creatures in the sky, what a sight that would be on the 19th…

Wish we could see that historical Leo for real…

By the morning of the 25th ISON will have moved far enough away from Mars to perhaps cover the red planet with any tail it has developed by then – as seen through a telescope, of course…

18 Oct 25

Now listen. On the next morning, the 26th, you absolutely MUST make every effort to get up early, because THIS is what you will see – a beautiful crescent Moon shining beneath Jupiter, with Mars and the comet nearby… what a stunning scene that will be…

Really… the comet’s tail over Mars, with the Moon and Jupiter nearby.. what more do you want?!?! I wonder how long the tail will be by then…?

On the next morning, the 27th (below) the Moon will have moved east of Jupiter, closer to the comet… wide angle photos by the tens of thousands will be taken at this time, I’m sure…

Just look at the amazing wide angle view…

Now there’s a wide angle view, right..?

On the morning of the 29th (below) this will be the view greeting early-risers…

Beautiful photo op…

Can’t wait to take a wide angle pic of this view, with the comet, Mars and the Moon grouped so close together in the pre-dawn sky… and the zoomed-in view should be something special, too…!

…and this one…!

One for the zoom lens, definitely. And if the comet has developed a decent tail, through a small telescope we might see Mars shining through the tail, framed by subtle streamers and tendrils of pale comet dust…

And the next morning, as Ocober draws to a close…

Comet, Moon and Mars in a tight triangle… cross your fingers NOW for a clear sky that morning..! But PLEASE don’t take that tail length shown above seriously, that’s just the way the software depicts shows it.

Comet, Moon and Mars in same small telescope field of view perhaps..?

Beautiful view…

Crying out for a wide angle photo, don’t you think..? Just look at that picture and imagine it’s the early hours of  the last day of October… perihelion for Comet ISON is less than a month away, and by this tinme we should really know how impressive ISON is going to be at its best.

And then, November…

43 Responses to “OCTOBER 2013”

  1. I’m so looking forward to this. Lets hope for a good show ey.

  2. http://revelation12seeninheavens2017.wordpress.com

    Ah, another anonymous coward posting a link to their own religibabble website. Get off my *science* blog.

  3. What time zone are we talking about here?

  4. […] OCTOBER 2013. […]

  5. […] https://waitingforison.wordpress.com/october-2013/ […]

  6. I believe this particular comet is officially a bust. Hearlded as the comet of the century by many, I am sorry, so sorry to say, I fell for the hype.

    • Far too soon to say that, let’s just wait and see eh?

    • It’s not officially a bust at all.The next couple of weeks will be critical in seeing what will eventually happen to it, but at the moment it is brightening and still on track to be a nice naked eye comet. So don’t pull on the hair shirt just yet… 😉

  7. On 10/10/13 from Madison, Wi., Mars looked exceptionally large and blurry by the naked eye. Is ISON creating a visible wash over Mars?

    • No, it isn’t. I was out looking at it, and photographing it, on the same date, and it looked no different to the named eye and looks no different photographically either. These stories of ISON “interacting” with Mars and giving it a coma are false. Although ISON passed relatively close to Mars it was nowhere near close enough to interact with it physically. And as for “sparking” with it in some electrical way, that’s just nonsense. Maybe there were some high ice clouds when you were observing, making Mars look a bit fuzzy.

      • Thank you. I got out of my apt. last night to see what I was really seeing and it definitely was not Mars. I was looking at lights from a building I didn’t know was there.

  8. Thank you so much for this incredibly detailed information. I’ll surely keep an eye out.

  9. Well, I am out here now, under a crystal clear sky at 5.42 MDT (Colorado), with Regulus and Mars as clear as can be. But even with good Zeiss 10.40 binoculars I cannot find this comet in the location predicted in the above charts. So, waht’s the deal – do you need a decent telescope? PANSTARRS in March was a much clearer phenomenon. Can anybody suggest why I am not seeing this Comet ISON?

    • You’re doing nothing wrong, I think it’s still beneath the grasp of binoculars. SOon, tho, hopefully! It’s being spotted with quite modest telescopes now.

      • Thanks for this. I’ll keep getting up and out there. The Moon’s phase over the next few weeks will make it harder?

      • Yep, lots of things are against us trying to see ISON… The Moon, the Sun, going to be a challenge that’s for sure…

  10. […] OCTOBER 2013. […]

  11. I think. If it goes close to the sun it will pass the sun and keep going.

    • It can’t actually do that, Chris. The Sun’s gravity will keep a tight hold of Comet ISON and it will whip around it and then head back out the way it came from. That is, of course, if it *survives* its close encounter with the Sun, it might be pulled apart. We’ll have to wait and see…

  12. OK, I think i just need a little help…… I have a Celestron C90 MAK Spotting Scope and I’m waiting for my 7mm – 22mm to come in. What eyepiece will i need to view ISON? I am using a 32mm as of now and I’m dying to see ISON with my son. This will be our first comet and who knows may be the only chance to see one. Thanks for all your hard work.

    • Well, you’re going to want to use something which gives you a good 40x to 50x magnification, I think, because ISON doesn;t seem bright enough to view through binoculars yet, from what I can gather.

    • To: Rubin, Hi I also have a Vintage C-90 Celestron. I’d wait a little while longer, but soon since the C-90 is basically a 4″ Reflecter although a Mak. Cat…

      • To: Philip, thanks man. I’m really hyped to see COMET ISON!!!!!
        can you recommend any eyepieces to use…… I’m new at all this astronomy stuff.

  13. Thank you sir i cant wait till my eyepiece comes in……

  14. […] stay up to see Mars, the Orionids and maybe, just maybe, catch a glimpse of Comet Ison.  (The Waiting for Ison blog has lovely  illustrations showing what you can expect to see and when, in the night […]

  15. Thanks for the wonderful illustrations! Very helpful for “casual” astronomers like us, to see where to find those astral points of interest.

  16. Its Gonna Be a Big One… Thanks so much for this INFO. I’ve already seen Ison in my 6″ Vixen on Hi-Power…:0)

  17. I am a 30 year veteran Astronomer. Comet Ison might not survive the close orbital position with the sun. I hope I am wrong. I give it a 50% chance that it will survive. Lets keep our fingers crossed on this one. I hope to view it in my Meade 8″ LX-200 SCT. Rick Clear Dark Skies To All.

  18. Can’t wait to get a good view with the binocs, their all I’ve got. Good thing is that a pair of welders glasses or the dark lenses of a welders face shield will work real good to see this thing as it gets closer to the sun.

    • I don’t think either of those things *would* work, actually. They’re great for solar eclipses, but if you use those to try and see ISON they’ll probably stop you seeing it as ISON will be too faint to see through welding glass, I’m sure. You want to just block out the Sun but leave the rest of the sky uncovered, like I show in my pictures on my “Daytime Observing” page.

  19. To Ruben: Hi again in my C-90 I would suggest a 25mm, or a 12.5 mm eyepiece… Give it a try as the Comet becomes brighter, and brighter I am sure you’ll have no trouble eventually seeing it. I’ve seen Two in my Lifetime Halley was a Bust in 86, but when I was a Teen in the seventies I saw Comet Bennett, and in the Early Nineties Comet Hale Bopp… “All Hale Bopp” :0)

  20. Hale Bopp was in 1996-1997

  21. Jonathan :
    Yes.!-I almost forgot it was right before I retired and I brought my little Jason Comet Chaser to the Firehouse so my Crew could see Hale Bopp… I think the brightness of the waning Moon is still washing out the Faint Comet Ison. Soon it will be a Crescent , then new moon is best…

  22. well that sucks nasa says its disintegrated 😦 whats next on the list to watch out for ?

  23. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/27/us/ison-comet/ looks like it made it and nasa was wrong 🙂

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