On Thanksgiving Day comet ISON had its closest approach to the sun. Early reports indicate that ISON did not survive and either broke up or simply melted away. However, as of this morning (the 29th) what happened is not entirely clear and comet ISON may, in fact, have survived. We'll probably know for sure within a day or so. S
I observed Comet ISON this morning and it is indeed brighter after it's outburst a few days ago. It is still rather faint, maybe magnitude 6 or 7, but can be seen in binoculars now. Still a ways to go before naked eye visibility but its nice to see this comet finally producing. Viewing conditions were tight as a nearly full moon was illuminating the western sky, but steadily setting, and I was racing against the impending dawn. There was about a half hour sweet spot where the moon was low enough to not be a factor but before twilight really got started. I was able to snap a picture and shoot some video with the StarSplitter. Enjoy!
There are reports that Comet ISON underwent an outburst yesterday, dramatically increasing in brightness. When I observed it on the 13th it was difficult to see even through a telescope. Reports are now that it is an easy binocular target. I tried to observe it this morning but the weather was cloudy. I will try again tomorrow.
I spotted Comet ISON for the first time this morning! It is still very faint. I was using an 8-inch Newtonian telescope and could barely spot it through the eyepiece. I had to use averted vision and even then I only spotted it because it was slightly fuzzier than the surrounding stars. I took the image below with an astronomical CCD camera and a 60 second exposure. Now it looks like a comet. You can also see a faint tail extending upwards from the comet.
I have been excited about space since I was young, and have been involved in astronomy for over 20 years. I have built 4 of my own telescopes and continue to design and experiment with new instruments and accessories.