November 07, 2013 the world’s guest from the outer reaches has arrived, Comet ISON. Comet ISON will be visible this weekend thru January 2014. You may have need to get up a wee bit early to blow her a welcoming kiss until she grows to enormous proportions. Welcome to the planet Earth!
“ISON is currently visible in the constellation Virgo. Use the easier to find neighbor Leo as your guidepost. Look to the South for the backwards question mark forming the front of Leo the lion then find the brightest star in that constellation, Regulus. About 13 degrees below Regulus is orange-colored Mars, and another 12 degrees below Mars is Comet ISON. The width of your fist with your arm extended fully will give a good idea of what about 10 degrees of the night sky covers.
Look for a soft glow, a fuzzy smudge of light. This is ISON’s coma. If skies are dark enough, a faint tail may be visible as well. The distance between Mars and ISON will continue to increase so look a bit lower the later in the week you venture out to observe.
The closer ISON gets to the sun, the brighter it will be, so if you cant make it out this week, check back on the WRAL Weather Blog for updated information on where to look. If ISON survives its Thanksgiving day trip around the sun (a 50/50 proposition) and the 5,000° F environment it will be subjected to, it is expected to dim as quickly as it brightened over the next year as it exits the solar”