Comet ISON sweeps near sun, shows signs of life

The Extinction Protocol

November 29, 2013SPACEHold the obituary. Experts now think Comet ISON — or at least part of it — survived its close encounter with the sun. Karl Battams, a comet scientist for the Naval Research Laboratory, said it is believed some parts of ISON’s nucleus survived perihelion. “It now looks like some chunk of ISON’s nucleus has indeed made it through the solar corona, and re-emerged,” he said. “It’s throwing off dust and (probably) gas, but we don’t know how long it can sustain that.” However, he said, its fate is uncertain. “Now it has emerged and started to brighten, we need to observe it for a few days to get a feel for its behavior,” Battams said. ISON swept about 730,000 miles over the sun’s surface Thursday about 2 p.m. ET. A fleet of spacecraft watched ISON plunge toward the sun, including NASA’s STEREO satellite, the…

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