Did Comet ISON Survive? Scientists See Tiny Hope

Posted at: 11/25/2013 11:11 AM | Updated at: 11/29/2013 10:31 AM


The Comet ISON is seen nearing the sun on the right side of this image from the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory taken early Wednesday, before it had a close encounter with the sun.

Courtesy: ESA/NASA/SOHO

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Scientists are studying spacecraft images to find out whether a small part of Comet ISON survived its close encounter with the sun.

The comet at first seemed to have fallen apart as it approached the sun's sizzling surface, but new images Friday showed a streak of light that some said could indicate it wasn't game over just yet.

U.S. Navy solar researcher Karl Battams wrote on his blog that "it does appear that at least some small fraction of ISON has remained in one piece." He cautioned that even if there is a solid nucleus, it may not survive for long.

The European Space Agency, which had declared ISON's death on Twitter late Thursday, was backtracking early Friday, saying the comet "continues to surprise."

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