This is the place to find all the charts you need to view Ison. You will find two types of charts here, professional charts which include elevation etc.. and amateur charts which are designed to be easy to use and show you where in the sky you should be looking. This page is divided in to months to help you find the chart you need.

When using the amateur charts you should be aware that they will give you the rough position in the sky and you will need to "look around" a bit. Also on these charts Ison has been exaggerated to make the charts easier to use, so please don't be disapointed if the tail is not as big in real life as it is on the chart! Please also note that these charts are drawn for viewing from the mid-northern hemisphere, this means half way between the north pole and the equator. If you live in the UK, most of Europe or the mid USA they should work just fine, but if you live much farther north or south you may need to adjust slightly.

On each of the amateur charts you will find the date, time and direction that the chart relates to. For example if the chart say's 1/10/13 4:00am east this means you should be looking east on the 1st of October at 4am. All times are given in "universal time" this is the same as GMT (UK winter time) and Zulu time, so please adjust for your time zone. All times given are as a guide, you will be able to see Ison before and after these times and in the same place, but the chart was built based on this time.

Navigating the Sky

Below are a couple of charts to help you get your bearings in the sky using the Big Dipper (also known as the Plough, the Laddle, the Sauce pan and many more). The Big Dipper is instantly recognizable and easy to find so is great starting point for navigating the stars. The first chart shows you how to use the Big Dipper to find the North star which has been used since the dawn of time to navigate at night as it is always in the north hence the name! The second chart shows where the main constellations are in relation to the Big Dipper. Clicking on the images will enlarge them.

With thanks to StarryNight

With thanks to StarryNight


During October Ison will be traveling past Mars, through the constellation of Leo. The charts in the Navigating the sky section should help you find Leo. Leo will be in the east during the morning hours and looks like a bit like a coat hanger with a really long hook that's been bent. During the first couple of weeks Ison will only be visible with small telescopes but with a bit of luck, you'll be able to see Ison with binoculars by the end of October.
Clicking on the images will enlarge them.

1/10/2013  4:00am east   With thanks to Ison Atlas

10/10/2013  4:00am east   With thanks to Ison Atlas

14/10/2013  4:00am east   With thanks to Ison Atlas

17/10/2013  4:00am east   With thanks to Ison Atlas

September/October chart

With thanks to David Dickinson at Universe Today

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