When someone utters the words Milky Way, we immediately associate the grand veil seen overhead during warm, mosquito ridden summer nights. At that time of year it is quite easy to trace out the collective glow of millions of suns stretching from the famous W of Cassiopeia the Queen in the north to Sagittarius the Archer in the south. To experience this marvellous sight under dark country skies is beyond words. Resting above the southern horizon is the nucleus or heart of our home galaxy.
What has been the buzz in the astronomical community for the past year is now in the home stretch. Discovered on Sept 21, 2012, Comet ISON was first though to be a daytime comet with an estimated magnitude -16, when it rounds the Sun at a very close distance on Nov 28. But recent observations now paint a slightly different picture. All comets are a bit of a mystery and seems to have a mind of their own - ISON is no different.
Where has the time gone? We are already into September. And it is this time of year we can start observing about 8:30 p.m. local time. As we begin our observing run, the famous Summer Triangle greets us high overhead. The three suns that make up this asterism are Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, Deneb in the Cygnus the Swan and Altair in Aquila the Eagle and is the starting point for this month’s article.