Image of the Day: Comet ISON may not suck

Credit: Damian Peach

The first decent look that we got at ISON, the potential "Comet of the Century," was at best uninspiring. That was when it was out by Mars, and we knew it was going to get more active and brighter as it approached the Sun, but it's generally impossible to tell what's going to happen with a comet.

Over the last few days, we've started to get lucky, as ISON has increased in brightness by several times and grown a lovely long tail. Astrophotographer Damian Peach took this picture on November 15 through an eight-inch telescope, but at this point, it's possible to see ISON for yourself without even using binoculars, down by the eastern horizon around dawn.

As for what happens next, nobody has any idea. We do know that ISON will make its closest pass to the Sun on November 28 before it swings back out of the solar system again, so things could potentially get even better. Or, the Sun could swallow ISON whole, and we may never see it again.

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Damian Peach, via Slate

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