Washington: The highly anticipated Comet ISON is brightening fast just days from its fateful hairpin turn on November 28th around the broiling surface of the Sun.
The comet is now a greenish-white fuzzy "star" in binoculars, low in the east-southeast at the beginning of dawn.
Telescopic photos are showing it with a long, ribbony tail.
The comet has flared with unexpected outbursts of gas and dust three times already this month.
"We might witness a nice, long-tailed comet visible to the naked eye that will leave millions of people with fond memories for a lifetime," Alan MacRobert, a senior editor of Sky and Telescope magazine, said.
"Or maybe it will be a small comet for sky hunters using binoculars and a good map of its position. Or it might yet break up and vanish," he said.
It all depends on what happens to the comet`s tiny nucleus, its only solid part.
ISON will pass closest to the Sun`s surface - by less than one Sun diameter! - for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th.