Do you remember Comet Halle-Bopp? We do vividly. It appeared in night skies around 15 years ago and stuck around for quite a while. At the time we had nothing more than an old pair of family binoculars to view the wonder but the view was still spectacular. As our only experience of viewing a relatively close Comet it proved inspiring. Like many people we were sad when Halle-Bopp moved on. It had become familiar and somehow gave a sense of well being.
Well hold onto your telescope. In 2013 forecasters are predicting that a much brighter Comet will be visibile from Earth. ISON was discovered by Russian astronmers and they plus others are excitedly tracking its course.
It is expected that ISON will be visible in November 2013 and will be much birghter than any comets we have experienced before. There are even claims that it may be clearly visible in daylight skies. Its appearance in November / December 2013 is likely to give those of us in the Northern Hemisphere one spectacular long performance before it continues on its journey heading toward the Sun.
In Science Fiction tales rogue Comets often lead to death and destruction on a grand scale. It is to be hoped that ISON remains within normal realms as far as comets go and causes little if any disruption.
Do not worry if you have no binoculars nor telescope as the ISON comet will be visible by the naked eye during its "visit". Obviously better and clearer views will be achieved by looking through binoculars or a telescope. That said ISON may be brighter than our moon which should make for strange skies.
It could be a once in a lifetime visit in more ways than one as scientists expect that its trajectory may change, leaving it to a firey death in the Sun.
Prior to its demise though it should be a treat for star gazers and more as it makes its spectacular appearance in our heavens.
More here at TIME