Stargazing: Follow Saturan and Mercury to Comet ISON

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After passing Mercury and Saturn in our morning sky last week, Comet ISON is just days away from its close encounter with the sun on Thanksgiving Day. If the comet survives its plunge to within 730,000 miles of the sun's surface, it may put on a stunning display in December. However, your best chance to see the comet now is through binoculars or a wide-field-of-view telescope. Because Comet ISON is also close to the sun, you also will need a clear view of the east-southeastern horizon without obstructions to see the comet this week.

With your binoculars or wide-field telescope, look for Comet ISON Tuesday morning, 30 minutes before sunrise. The comet will sit just above the east-southeastern horizon. You can also use Saturn and Mercury as a guide in finding ISON. Look for fainter Saturn just above brighter Mercury, 10 degrees above the horizon. A line straight down through our two "morning stars" will guide you to Comet ISON.


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