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Comets and More in the Night Sky

comet ISON
Comet ISON (NASA/ESA – Hubble Space Telescope)
Comet ISON is expected to be an easy comet to see, if it survives its close encounter with our Sun.

This photo from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the comet is still in one piece as it approaches the Sun. However, it has not been as bright as some astronomers were hoping.

In fact, stealing the show and visible (especially in binoculars) right now is Comet Lovejoy C/2013 R1. There have been other comets named after Terry Lovejoy, who seems to find a lot. This one is big and bright with a pretty long tail – at last report.

On a clear night here in the Bitterroot, look in the sky generally to the east and move north from the constellation Orion toward the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). During the next days, Comet Lovejoy will pass below the Big Dipper near Leo, according to spaceweather.com.

And, another reason to look up at night, the Taurid meteor shower. It is small shower and most of the meteors will be washed out by the moon, but if you look toward the Pleiades and the constellation Taurus, you might see a falling star of two.

Winter skies are the best for viewing at night, but dress warmly and keep those feet and hands from freezing.

By the way, the Sun is still very active and Northern Lights are always a possibility. Not much to report yet, though.

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