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Comet ISON is heading towards its inexorable close pass of the Sun, which will occur on November 28, 2013. And while we’ve been enjoying great views from astrophotographers, that luxury is probably over as of today, as the comet is just getting to close to the Sun — and its blinding glare — for us to see it. But while we won’t be able to see it from Earth, we’re lucky to have a fleet of spacecraft that will be able to keep an eye on the comet for us! The STEREO spacecraft has already taken images of ISON hurtling towards the Sun; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) will start observations on November 27. Then, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will view the comet for a few hours during its closest approach to the Sun, and the X-Ray telescope on the Hinode spacecraft will view Comet ISON for about 55 minutes during perihelion.
Will Comet ISON survive its close pass and emerge brighter than ever? Only time will tell. You can keep track of what is going on with ISON here on Universe Today, as well as at NASA’s Comet ISON website, the Comet ISON Observing Campaign website, and there will be a special Hangout on Google+ during perihelion on Nov. 28.
Above is a gorgeous timelapse of ISON from the Teide observatory in the Canary Islands on Nov. 22nd, 2013. See more images and videos below.
Above is a screenshot from the live camera views from the Canada France Hawaii Telescope webcam. You can see a live view from their webcam any time at this link.
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