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Want to see Comet ISON today? Check your computer, not the sky

Comet ISON is going to make its closest approach to the sun today, but whatever you do, don't look.

Even if the powerful radiation from the sun causes the gas and dust in the comet to glow as brightly as the full moon, it would still not be visible in the daytime sky. The sun's light would completely block it out. 

"We don't want people waving binoculars and telescopes toward the sun," said Karl Battams, a heliophysicist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. "We definitely do not condone that."

PHOTOS: Comet ISON journeys through the solar system

But do not despair. You can still spend your Thanksgiving holiday following along as the comet faces the powerful forces of the solar furnace.

NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO), has promised to post nearly real-time images and movies of the comet as it reaches perihelion -- the point on its orbit when it will be closest to the sun. Specifically, the images will show the position of the comet's tail.

The SDO has put together a special website for the occasion, and the images should start showing up sometime between 9:45 and 10 a.m. PST. 

These images will be collected by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on the Solar Dynamics Observatory. It will see the comet via light coming from ions of oxygen.

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