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Hot Comet
Hot Comet
28 Jan 2003

Comet C/2002 X5 (Kudo-Fujikawa) is plunging toward the Sun. At closest approach on Jan. 29th it will be even closer than Mercury--only 0.19 AU away. Intense sunlight will hide the encounter from most sky watchers, but not from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Coronagraphs onboard SOHO are able to block the Sun's glare and reveal the nearby comet.

This morning the comet entered the field of view of SOHO's C2 coronagraph. How bright will the comet become? How big will its tail grow? Will the comet break apart? No one knows. Come back during the days ahead and see for yourself.

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Last Updated: 4 Feb 2003