Possible appearance of Comets PANSTARRS and ISON.

by on , under Astronomy Blog

Following on from the news about two possible extremely bright comets in 2013.
See details here for details of their celestial paths over the coming months.

My Observers guide to Comet ISON for later this year and into 2014 has just been published. It is currently available on Amazon Kindle download:
Now no longer available, as ISON met its demise when it went too close to the Sun..

Latest news here. 

I have run Sky Safari to try and see what the comets MIGHT look like from the UK next year.
Please note that these are ONLY A REPRESENTATION and the comets will undoubtedly look much different to the images shown here

I have also produced some animations of their possible appearances here.

In all likelihood the tails will be curved due to the speed of the comet around the Sun, particularly with PANSTARRS.
Will they have a single ion tail, a separate dust tail, or multiple tails.
No-one can really tell at this stage?

Comet ISON C/2012 S1. Is currently very faint at magnitude 18 in Gemini.

Unfortunately for both comets, when they are at their brightest next year, they are quite low in the sky.

I have made these images to show them at their brightest at a reasonable height above the horizon.
These images are for central UK, but they can be used for any location in mid-northern latitudes.

Comet PANSTARR C/2011 L4

View Looking West on the evening of the 1st of April 2013. 20.ooh.

View looking East on the evening of the 6th of April 2013. 20.00h.

View looking East on the morning of the 7th of April 2013. 04.00h.

The comet is fairly close to M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy around this time.

COMET ISON C/2012 S1. This comet has now been downgraded a bit and may not be “quite” as bright as was initially hoped. But even with the downgrading of brightness it should still be a fabulous sight.

View Looking East on the morning of the 10th December 2013 05.00h.

View Looking West on the evening of the 18th December 2013. 16.00h.

If these predictions are correct? WOW!!!

Let’s just keep those fingers crossed.



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