Astronomy buffs can gaze at two comets this week


TAIPEI — Sky-watchers are invited to join experts on Saturday in tracking two brightening comets, ISON and Lovejoy, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday.

The museum said it will open its observation room between midnight Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday to enthusiasts interested in watching the comets through astronomy telescopes, with professional guidance.

If the weather is fine, the observation conditions for the two comets should be at their best by the end of this week, the museum said. ISON, described by many as the “Comet of the Century,” is an unusually brilliant comet that could become brighter than Venus as it streaks through the solar atmosphere on Nov. 29, the museum said.

It is not known whether the celestial event would live up to expectations, but the much anticipated brightening of the comet has generated significant discussion in astronomy circles, museum officials said.