There is a slight chance some viewers may see Comet Ison in the early morning sky the next couple of mornings. Astronomers have been watching this comet for close to a year but for the most part it has been a visual disappointment.
On Thanksgiving Day, yesterday, the comet passed close and around the sun — so close to the sun it may have been destroyed. Astronomers will look to see what remains as the comet speeds away from the sun and back out into space. If the comet survived, the time to look for it is in the early morning, at about 5 a.m., when it is just above the southeastern horizon.
A comet is a fast moving ball of rock, dust and ice. While astronomers can predict with great accuracy where a comet will be, they can’t predict how well the comet will perform. When the comet was discovered, many speculated it would be as bright as the moon. So far the comet has been visible in telescopes and just barely in binoculars.
So far this is no Halley’s Comet nor Hale-Bopp.
Moon, Planets and Comet
For those who rise and look outside early Sunday morning there are possibly four celestial objects to spot. There will be the thin crescent moon above the horizon. Above the moon there is the bright planet Saturn. Below the moon there is the planet Mercury. The three are in the east southeastern sky. Look to the left of these three and even closer to the horizon and there is a slight possibility you’ll see Comet Ison.
Moon and Venus
The thin crescent moon appears next to Venus early in the evening on Thursday, Dec. 5.
|Fri., Nov. 29||6:46||4:12|
|Sat., Nov. 30||6:47||4:12|
|Sun., Dec. 1||6:48||4:12|
|Mon., Dec. 2||6:49||4:11|
|Tues., Dec. 3||6:50||4:11|
|Wed., Dec. 4||6:51||4:11|
|Thurs., Dec. 5||6:52||4:11|
|Fri., Dec. 6||6:53||4:11|
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 49º F.