Comet ISON is quickly growing in brightness as this month's climactic encounter with the sun approaches — and skilled photographers are capturing one great shot after another. This Nov. 15 photo from British astrophotographer Damian Peach rates among the best of the bunch so far.
"Now the show has really begun, with it having undergone an outburst in activity and brightness," Peach wrote on his Facebook page. "Sporting a dramatic and intricate tail more than 2 degrees long."
Comet ISON, formally known as C/2012 S1, was discovered a little more than a year ago. Even then, astronomers recognized that it had the potential to become the "comet of the century,"owing to the fact that it was due to come well within a million miles (1.6 million kilometers) of the sun. If comets survive that kind of close encounter, they can become dramatically brighter — which means ISON is the star of a real cliffhanger: Will it hold together and live up to its potential, or will it break apart before it has a chance to hit prime time? Read the full story.