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Today is Comet ISON's make-or-break day — here's how to watch

Illustration for article titled Today is Comet ISONs make-or-break day — heres how to watch

The so-called "Comet of the Century" is about to have its much anticipated brush with the Sun — the results of which could be visible to the naked eye. Thankfully, NASA is tracking ISON's journey in realtime, and here's how you can watch the drama unfold.

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Scientists say Comet ISON is already starting to buckle under the pressure and it may not survive. The Sun's gravitational pressure and heat could cause the object to disintegrate before it has a chance to light up our skies.

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Yesterday (November 27th), ISON entered the field view of the ESO/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (pictured above and featured in the video below). That cloud-like structure you see below the sun is the remnant of a coronal mass ejection.

NASA is tracking the comet's journey with the SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) spacecraft which will off-point at three different positions as Comet ISON moves through perihelion. The comet, which is traveling at more than a million kilometers an hour, is scheduled to reach its critical phase around the Sun between 12:45 pm and 1:00 pm ET (9:45 am and 10:00 am PT). Go here to watch near realtime images and movies. And here's a live feed:

Image Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO.

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DISCUSSION

One of the reasons that Americans are so poorly educated about science is that journalists keep making up names as they go along. What is the world is 'gravitational pressure'? Where in the world did you get that one? You don't, by chance, mean 'tidal forces'? Or did you mean 'solar wind effects'?

Hello, author: Perhaps it is time to stop fluffing the language and use real terms in your articles.