Sky gazers can now start the preparations for viewing the fast approaching celestial display of the 2013 Comet ISON after making its closest approach to planet Mars on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The "Comet of the Century" is expected to become visible to the naked eye in early Nov. before its closest approach to the Sun on Nov. 28 and planet Earth on Dec. 26.
Astronomers were able to have a look at the approaching comet with high-resolution equipment revealing the latest development that the 2013 Comet ISON exudes greenish colour instead of the expected white. The question of how bright can Comet ISON be during its close by has always been the much anticipated aspect of this rare phenomenon and current estimates claim that the comet may have a brightness comparable to planet Venus in the night sky.
The Catholic.org report reads: "That means it will be easy to spot with the naked eye and will put on a spectacular show for billions to see. ISON will become visible to the naked eye around November 6 and will remain visible for about two months, dimming out of view as it recedes into the depths of space around January 6. Still, a two-month display is amazing and exceptionally rare."
Majority of the sky gazers are hoping that Comet ISON will be able to endure its close flyby to the Sun in order to provide a remarkable bright display until Jan. It is currently hard to spot the 2013 Comet ISON with just binoculars plus the light-polluted skies so experts suggest the use of a telescope, even the small one.
The things that sky watchers need in viewing Comet ISON are the moderately large telescope and a dark sky. Astronomers shared that their telescopes with over 10 inches in diameter allow them to locate the buzzing comet close to planet Mars.
Joe Rao of Space.com suggests a telescope with the 8 to 12-inch range and utilize a magnification of at least 200 to 300 power. "If you're trying to see the comet you'll have much better success by looking off to one side of its position (averted vision) rather than staring right at it. In that way, you'll be able to better detect its faint and fuzzy image," the report reads.
"You'll have to wait until around 4 a.m. local daylight time for both Mars and the comet to get at least 10 degrees above the east-northeast horizon - the equivalent of your clenched fist held at arm's length," Mr Rao further added.
To view Comet ISON during its close flyby to Mars, just locate the planet in the sky and search near it to see the comet. Good viewing conditions will allow the viewers spot a soft, blurry patch at the upper left of the planet Mars and the Moon as the two align diagonally in the sky at the crack of dawn.