Comet ISON falls into the sun, and part of it survives. Astronomers admit to being surprised and delighted, but now caution that anything could happen in the coming hours and days.
This movie shows Comet ISON orbiting around the sun – represented by the white circle — on Nov. 28, 2013. ISON looks smaller as it streams away, but scientists believe its nucleus may still be intact. The video covers Nov. 27, 2013, 3:30 p.m. EST to Nov. 29, 2013, 8:30 a.m. EST. Image Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO/Jhelioviewer
This remnant of ISON could continue to brighten, or it could simply fizzle out altogether.
“We’ve been following this comet for a year now and all the way it has been surprising us and confusing us,” said astrophysicist Karl Battams.
“It’s just typical that right at the end, when we said, ‘yes, it has faded out, it’s died, we’ve lost it in the Sun’, that a couple of hours later it should pop right back up again.”