Stargazers alerted to comet’s approach

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Time will only tell if comet ISON becomes a spectacular object in the morning sky, as predicted, from the end of November through the first half of December. If it reaches the expected brightness or has a significant outburst and is even more brilliant, the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will provide viewing at the Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory on clear mornings Nov. 30-Dec. 14.

The observatory is located on the grounds of Deer Lakes Park, near Russellton. The comet should become visible 30 minutes before sunrise the first few mornings after its closest approach to the sun. The time to see the bright comet would extend to more than an hour in mid-December. Each morning the comet will move higher in the sky and the moon’s brightness will interfere with the viewing as it nears the full moon on Dec. 17.

The association asks people to call 724-224-2510 to check on the possibility of viewing the comet at Wagman. Observers are asked to arrive by 6:30 a.m., weather permitting; binoculars are recommended.

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