'Brighter than a full moon': The biggest star of 2013... could be Ison - the comet of the century
A comet discovered by two Russian astronomers will be visible from Earth next year. Get ready for a once-in-a lifetime light show, says David Whitehouse
At the moment it is a faint object, visible only in sophisticated telescopes as a point of light moving slowly against the background stars. It doesn't seem much – a frozen chunk of rock and ice – one of many moving in the depths of space. But this one is being tracked with eager anticipation by astronomers from around the world, and in a year everyone could know its name.
Comet Ison could draw millions out into the dark to witness what could be the brightest comet seen in many generations – brighter even than the full Moon.