Comet ISON on final approach to the Sun

The next couple of months should prove good viewing for observers of comet ISON, which continues its journey towards the centre of the Solar System. At present, ISON is only visible with a telescope (or binoculars), but come November it should be visible to the naked-eye, just before it whips around the back of the Sun. The interactive model (see below), which works best in the Chrome web-browser, shows us the path of the comet through to January 2014, when it will start to fade into the darkness. Our one concern is that the object will break up during its closest approach to the Sun, with the extreme gravity accelerating the comet from it's current speed of around 88,200 mph to a speed approaching 845,000 mph or 378 km/s.

If you fancy keeping an eye on comet ISON during the coming weeks, then there is a dedicated website that provides some useful information and tools to help you.