Orion s ISON
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Hours before ISON
reached perihelion, stunning images taken by SOHO's Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) showed the bright, elongated tail of the onrushing comet.
Scientists quickly realized that ISON
would be the first known Oort cloud object to pass near the sun.
, named for the International Scientific Optimal Network that found it, made its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving.
EST Thursday as scientists follow the journey of Comet ISON
while it slingshots around the sun.
While it is still quite a long way from its peak brightness, and is a bit down on some of the more optimistic brightness estimates, ISON
is still expected to put on a nice show in December - assuming she survives her close encounter with the Sun.
is not only about launching a rocket into space.
could break apart as it nears the sun, or it could fail to produce a tail of ice particles visible from Earth.
Using a telescope near Kislovodsk, Russia, the astronomers first found ISON
just outside Jupiter's orbit on September 21, 2012.
Its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera was used to watch Comet ISON
as it sped by, making observations and measurements of the comet's brightness as it went.
was about 312 million miles from the sun, 3.
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