Comet ISON May Have Survived!

Comet isonESA/NASA/SOHO/GSFCISON appears as a white smear heading up and away from the sun.

A portion of Comet ISON may have survived its perilous trip around the sun on Thursday, NASA said on Friday.

The comet was not visible during its closest approach to the sun, so many scientists thought it had broken apart or disintegrated completely and would not be visible to the naked in December.

But images like the one above from the European Space Agency and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory suggest that a tiny part of the comet may have made it out alive. A streak of white material can be seen streaming away from the sun, which could be a portion of the comet’s tiny nucleus, according to NASA.

“It now looks like some chunk of ISON’s nucleus has indeed made it through the solar corona, and re-emerged,” comet scientist Karl Battams told CNN. “It’s throwing off dust and (probably) gas, but we don’t know how long it can sustain that.” He added: “Now it has emerged and started to brighten, we need to observe it for a few days to get a feel for its behaviour.”

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