In the image above (bottom), you’re looking at a mind-blowing shot of Comet ISON, captured by amateur astronomer Mike Hankey – taken with a 60-second exposure. Pablo Santos Sanz of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalucia says that “ISON has experienced an impressive fifteen-fold increase on the sublimation of hydrocyanic acid and water in the last 48 hours. Scientists don’t know exactly why this explosive reaction has occurred.” Continue reading for a bonus video and more information.

For those who want to view Comet ISON in-person, “if you live outside of a city, you can see ISON in the sky now with your naked eye. With good binoculars, you will be able to see it clearly. Just wake up early (around 4:30am or so) and look for Mercury. Ison should be above it, to the right.”