Usually, astronomers thrill to the notion of a single bright comet in a year, but 2013 is about to deliver two of them. Beginning in March, northern observers will have their best looks at Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4), which could shine at 1st magnitude for several weeks.
Then, starting around Halloween, Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) will pass the naked-eye threshold. If predictions hold, this comet could become the brightest anyone alive has ever seen. Indeed, after it reaches its closest point to the Sun it may shine as brightly as Venus — but with a gorgeous tail — in a dark sky. And although you can see it without optical aid, this apparition will dazzle through binoculars and telescopes.
These two comets are “must-see” objects for amateur astronomers and new observers. So be sure to follow their exploits here as Astronomy
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