By Mike P. Usher
In the chart this week Comet ISON still appears close to Mars, but in actuality it’s about 20 million miles away from the Red Planet. Mars is easy to find, being quite close to Regulus. Mars is probably much dimmer than you remember, but it’s close to 200 million miles away! Comet ISON is more of a problem – it may, or may not be visible in binoculars. Look for a fuzzy spot to the left of Mars; probably no tail will be visible.
While Leo is commonly considered a spring constellation, that is a conception based on when casual stargazers usually view it. In reality of course one can view their favorite constellation or planet almost anytime of year – if you are willing to get up early enough. Leo is visible anytime the Sun is not actually passing through it.
See you next time!
Mr. Usher is President of the Everglades Astronomical Society which meets the second Tuesday of the month Sept. thru June at 7:00PM in the Norris Center, Cambier Park, Naples.