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See Comet ISON as it appears to approach Mars, live, right here

October 18, 2013|By Deborah Netburn

Catch a glimpse of Comet ISON as it zips toward the sun tonight, live online.

Comet ISON is still too dim to be seen with the naked eye, but on Friday night, you can watch the ball of ice and rock hurtle through space, even if you don't have a telescope handy.

At 10:30 p.m. PDT, the website will stream video of the comet directly from its wide field telescopes in the Canary Islands, and you can watch it right here.

Slooh is billing the broadcast as "Comet ISON Meets Mars" because from our perspective on Earth, the comet will appear to be very close to Mars -- just 1 degree apart from the red planet.

Paul Cox, a member of the Slooh team, will host the show and offer pointers on how to find the comet using a backyard telescope. 

Astronomers have been tracking Comet ISON's journey toward the sun since it was first discovered in September 2012.

Whether it will survive its closest approach to the sun on Nov. 28 is still unclea. The most recent image of the comet from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows that its fragile icy nucleus is still holding together, at least for now.

If ISON does survive its closest approach to the sun, we can hope for a pretty good show in early December when it zips past Earth. 

For more stories on icy bodies zipping around the universe, follow me on Twitter


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