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.
Here we are – the last month of 2012. If you do not have a blanket of snow on the ground where you live, it is only a matter of time till it arrives. But before that happens, let’s do some late autumn observing. Cetus the Whale is the fourth largest constellation in night sky. Within its 1,231 square degrees lie more than 50 NGC objects down to magnitude 12.0 with that number tripling when you go down to 13th magnitude.