Look, Up in the Sky!
Astronomers think so close a grazing of the Sun may also produce added fireworks, with chunks of comet debris flying off and out behind or exploding. It is possible the entire comet may be vaporized. In any event, so close an approach of what is essentially a great ice and rock ball from the Solar System's distant surrounding Oort cloud region might be the most interesting comet phenomenon since, in July, 1994, Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 dramatically plunged into Jupiter.
For those wishing to follow along as Ison hurtles toward next week's solar rendezvous, rewarding sites are: Earthsky and NASA. Here one can find some of the latest, most interesting images as well as viewing info.
Meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving. Nobody knows for sure what to expect, and it could just be a "ho-hum" event. Indeed, scientists are downplaying the significance of any eye candy from Comet Ison, stressing that they simply do not know what will occur as it get quite near the Sun. It could just wink out of existence as it heats up to over 5000°F. Yet others think Comet Ison's close approach to Sol will make that holiday's pre-dawn sky (to the east, on either side of where the Sun is about to rise) into a visual feast befitting the day's gustatory delights. If Ison survives the close encounter, excellent viewing will likely arise in early December. To receive the best prospects of glimpsing Comet Ison with the naked eye, go then to open areas away from city lights and look to the southwest right after sunset.