Watching for ISON with Cloudcam

Wondering what comet C/2012 S1 ISON is looking like today? There is a very good camera aimed at the eastern horizon from the summit of Mauna Kea. Just what you need to take a look for yourself.

The CFHT Cloudcam is a DSLR camera that is programmed to take exposures constantly through the night. Used by the telescope operators to monitor oncoming weather, the camera shows the sky conditions over the eastern coast of the island and the city of Hilo. The images are live during the night, each morning you can load a timelapse video of the entire night.

The camera has quite a following, quite a few people check the camera constantly. This includes quite a few UFO consipracists. If anything odd shows up on the camera the video quickly shows up on YouTube and linked to postings on the UFO sites. When the launch of a missile from Vandenberg AFB in California created a glowing sphere of light these websites went into overdrive with wild speculation.

Most of the mornings this week have been too cloudy to see the comet. I have been checking the video each day. Currently at magnitude 5 the comet will be a small dot in the imagery. As the comet brightens it should appear nicely in Cloudcam.

Latest Cloudcam Image
The latest Cloudcam image

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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