Quick Look Charts

As you’ve probably noticed, the other charts in this online atlas were created using apps for Android smartphones, and include a lot of detail that you probably need to be an amateur astronomer or experienced skywatcher to appreciate or use. Well aware that many non-astronomers are very keen to see Comet ISON, I thought I’d make some other charts showing a more realistic view of the night sky, with just stars and the comet and no other distractions.

And here they are!

These charts were made using the popular free astronomy planetarium program “Stellarium” to generate a realistic-looking starry background, and I’ve added Comet ISON in using Photoshop. I’ve tried to make them as realistic as possible, by showing where ISON will be in relation to the starry sky and also by showing ISON as it *might* appear based on the most recent estimates. I might still be wrong, of course; the comet might be bigger or smaller, brighter or fainter than I’ve shown it here, but I think people will find these charts useful just because they’re so simple, and, while I fully admit they’re optimistic views I’ve tried hard to not make them TOO optimistic. I’ve tried hard to rein myself in! I hope they will give a reasonable  impression of what you might see if you go outside and look for ISON on the dates shown.

NOTE: ALL these charts show where ISON will be in the eastern/south eastern before dawn from mid-northern latitudes (apart from a few,, clearly labelled, which are for after sunset). I haven’t given precise times because there’s no real need. Just go out around a couple of hours before dawn on the dates given, when it’s still dark, face roughly east, and you’ll be looking in roughly the right direction. Click on them to enlarge them.

Note 2: Please don’t take the tail lengths shown on these pics as my PREDICTIONS. We can’t know in advance how long the tail will be. What I’ve done is show ISON how I *hope* it will look. The tail may be a lot shorter – or longer! – than shown on these pics. As is the case with all my charts, these are just to be used to help you find the right direction to look in to locate the comet. What ISON does, how bright it gets, how impressive it gets – or doesn’t get – is up to ISON…

Aug 24 - 30 Stellarium

Sept 1st s

Sept 7th s

Sept 9th s

Sept 10th s

Oct 1st

Oct 14th

Oct 17th

Nov 1st

Nov 5th



Nov 24th

Dec 4th dusk

Dec 10th

Dec 13th

Dec 18 dusk

Dec 20th

Dec 25th

I’ll add more charts to this page as and when time allows. In the meantime, if you think you’ll find these charts useful, let me know. Always nice to know I’m not just writing all this stuff for myself! 🙂


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