There are lots of blogs and websites about Comet ISON now, as you’ll already know if you’ve done a Google search for “Comet ISON”, but if all you want is somewhere to go to tell you and show you, with no fuss, where to look for Comet ISON in the sky later this year, then this is the place .
If you’re wanting more than this – if you want the scientific background to the comet, tips on how to photograph it, advice on how to observe it, slightly ranting diatribes against the nutters and fruit loops who have tried to hijack Comet IOSN and turn it into the latest “The End is Nigh!” tale of doom, I have a proper Comjet ISON blog you might like to visit…
But back to basics. Here you’ll just find lots and lots of simple finder charts which will help you locate Comet ISON in the sky later this year. They were created using the popular “Sky Safari” Android and iOS phone app, which I can’t recommend highly enough. If you are a “smartphone” or tablet owner witrh an interest in astronomy then really you need to download the app as soon as you’ve finished reading this page. There are several different versions of the app, of increasing complexity and, of course price, but the free one will be invaluable to you if you’re wanting to follow Comet ISON as it moves through the sky later this year.
A quick note on the charts. They look very dramatic don’t they! Calm down. At the moment, NO astronomical software can accurately show, or predict, the lengths of comet tails, they just can’t. So if you see a chart here and think “Wow! Look at the length of that tail!!! I can’t WAIT to see THAT!!!” please be aware that it probably won’t look anything like that in reality! Please, just use the charts as rough guides to figure out where, and when, to look for the comet in relation to your local horizon and the Moon and other objects in the sky.
The tails shown on these charts should only be thought of as rough guides to the direction the tail might be pointing in at the time; we won’t know how impressive Comet ISON is going to be for months yet.
Having said that, I hope and think you’ll find these charts useful in planning ahead when and where to look for, observe and maybe even photograph Comet ISON later this year. It might be the best comet for centuries, or it might be a lot less impressive than that, we just don’t know yet. But we do know where it will be in the sky and this blog’s aim is simple – to help YOU find Comet ISON in YOUR sky later this year.
By the way, if you’ve already had a peek at some of the charts and thought “They’re tiny!” don’t panic. Clicking on them will enlarge them.
One final thing. Please note that these charts are “drawn” for mid-northern latitudes, so if you live a lot further north or south you might need to take that into account, ok?
Right, introduction over. Go and explore the Atlas and its charts, and start planning where, and when, YOU will be able to see Comet ISON.