If ISON behaves like Comet West it will break apart during perihelion and light up the pre-dawn sky as it rises before the sun. I could still see West's nucleus at 11 am next to the sun. However, that was a one day event. It faded rapidly as it receded from the sun.
3 posts • joined 22 Oct 2013
Re: Comet West, the forgotten one
My brother and I arose at 3am to see comet West on or about March 1. It had a 30 degree bright, multi-rayed tail as it rose in the east ahead of the sun. When the nucleus became visible, it looked tiny and extremely bright. As the sunlight increased the tail slowly faded but the nucleus remained visible well after sunrise. At 11 am it was still clearly visible as a tiny 'star' next to the sun. As far as I know I'm the only person on Earth who saw comet West during that day or (with my brother) during the early morning hours. Apparently it broke apart during its encounter with the sun which made it so bright, but its flare-up only lasted one day. Regarding comet ISON, be ready. If it breaks apart also you may only get one chance to see it.