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Color image of comet against a background of stars and galaxies.
Comet ISON in April 2013

Comet ISON: Sizzle or Fizzle?

Here's what we know about this much-discussed Oort Cloud comet:

  • It is set to be the most observed comet by NASA ever - 16 space-based assets, including astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
  • ISON is a pristine comet from the Oort Cloud - this is its first time visiting our solar system.
  • The comet is a sungrazer (like Comet Lovejoy). It will fly through the atmosphere of the sun, and may not survive closest approach on 28 Nov 2013.
  • Another comet from the Oort Cloud will be visiting next year, so scientists will be comparing both to see how comets from this icy reservoir of debris beyond our solar system differ from other comets.

For resources and details, visit: Comet ISON Toolkit

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Last Updated: 20 Oct 2014