So Long, ISON: Comet's Too-Close Encounter with Sun

NASA's Facebook item on #ISON: 'Breaking Up is Hard to Do'
NASA's Facebook item on #ISON: 'Breaking Up is Hard to Do'
NASA summed it up on its Facebook page: "Breaking up is hard to do."

Evidence late Thursday pointed to the demise of Comet ISON as it made its approach toward the Sun in a fatal trajectory scientists had hoped would be survivable.

Had ISON made it, space watchers were looking forward to a spectacular show in December and further analysis of ISON's potential space secrets.

But, alas, ISON apparently got too close to the powerful Sun and disintegrated, though parts of it may reportedly still be detectable.

Watch NASA's video of ISON's travels on Thansgiving Day here.

ISON was discovered earlier this year, and scientists said it had the potential to be the "Comet of the Century," reported the Washington Post

Earlier, an ebullient NASA said: "If Comet ISON survives its trip around the sun, there’s a good chance that it will be incredibly bright and easily visible with the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere. In early December, it will be seen in the morning, low on the horizon to the east-southeast. In late December and early January, it will be visible all night long."

Up until it became blocked by the sun, the comet had been visible in the pre-dawn hour, very close to the horizon, NASA says. 

It was hoped it was moving fast enough to escape the gravitational pull of the Sun but, apparently, like Icarus of Greek mythology, its flight proved disastrous, according to NASA.


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