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You Might Need A Telescope To See Comet ISON

(credit: NASA)

(credit: NASA)

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By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Skywatchers are waking up early to try to catch a glimpse of a recently discovered comet as it passes through this part of the solar system.

It’s called Comet ISON and it was discovered in September 2012.

Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, says the comet is already visible, but you may need a telescope or binoculars.

“Unfortunately, it has not been coming up to the levels of brightness previously anticipated,” Pitts said. “So, it’s been sort of underperforming if we can say it that way. It is visible in the pre-dawn sky now, about an hour and 45 minutes before sunrise, low on the eastern horizon not far from the bright star Spica.”

Pitts says it’s anticipated Comet ISON will be it’s brightest for earthbound observers next Thursday, Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day.

And, he says, it may be visible to the naked eye in the pre-dawn sky into early December.

 

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