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Look up into the sky and see…

and this year you might see the spectacle of a lifetime. C/2012 S1 (Ison) is the name of a comet that most probably will pass extremely close to the Sun this November. It will be visible form Earth even during the day and at night it might be as bright as the Moon.

The comet was discovered by Russian scientists last September. According to predictions, it will start being visible on the sky in November this year. It can be seen by the naked eye throughout December 2013 and January 2014. ISON stands for International Scientific Optical Network, which is located near Kislovodsk in Russia, where the discovery was made. The comet is being compared to the Great Comet of 1680, so be ready for a once in a lifetime sky show.

According to the forecast, the comet will pass the closest to the Sun on November 28 2013, and therefore will become increasingly bright. It is predicted, that it may even outshine the Moon. To give you a perspective, the Sun has a magnitude of -26, comet Hale-Bobb – which was the last comet that could be observed without special equipment in 1997 – had a magnitude of -1. The C/2012 S1 (Ison) will have a magnitude of -16! This exceptional phenomenon will presumably be visible for two months, lasting till January 2014, and cause a meteor shower!

Although there are also some sceptical views that the comet may not be as visible as expected, most scientists predict, it will be an incredibly rare phenomenon. While it is difficult to determine the exact orbit of the comet, it is worth preparing yourself for a spectacular show! You may hire a car, drive somewhere isolated and enjoy the view!

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