Asteroids

In pictures: ISON, 'comet of the century' no more?

Comet ISON, which astronomers hoped would turn into "the comet of the century," flew past the sun over Thanksgiving -- and appears not to have survived the journey. Here, a look back at the comet's journey.

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Dec. 2, 2013: Comet ISON comes in from the bottom right and moves out toward the upper right, getting fainter and fainter, in this time-lapse image from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The image of the sun at the center is from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

ESA/NASA/SOHO/SDO/GSFC

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Dec. 2, 2013: A sequence of images show Comet ISON post-perihelion -- after its most likely fatal pass behind the sun. The comet appears to have vanished in a poof of dust. 

NASA/ESA

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Nov. 28, 2013: Comet ISON has moved quite close to the sun in this image from ESA/NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory captured at 10:51 a.m. EST. This image is a composite, with the sun imaged by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in the center, and SOHO showing the solar atmosphere, the corona.
ESA&NASA/SOHO/SDO

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Nov. 14, 2013: Astrophotographer Mike Hankey sent SPACE.com this 60-second x RGB composite image of Comet ISON.
Mike Hankey

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Nov. 19, 2013: Comet ISON shows off its tail in this 3-minute exposure taken at at 6:10 a.m. EST, using a 14-inch telescope located at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

AP PHOTO/NASA, AARON KINGERY

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Oct. 9, 2013: This photo of the sunward-plunging comet ISON suggests that the comet is intact despite some predictions that the fragile icy nucleus might disintegrate as the sun warms it.

AP/NASA

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Nov. 16, 2013: ISON's atmosphere with two wing-like features resembling the letter U. They suggest that one or more fragments may have detached from the comet in the past days.

Wendelstein Observatory of the LMU/MPS

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Oct. 31, 2013: Optical image of the structures surrounding the nucleus of the Comet ISON, captured by the Subaru Telescope.
NAOJ / Masafumi Yagi

Comet ISON Oct. 2013

Oct.. 8, 2013: Adam Block took this image of comet ISON using a SBIG STX16803 CCD Camera with a 32-inch Schulman Telescope Schulman Telescope atop Mount Lemmon from the University of Arizona's SkyCenter in the morning.
Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

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April 23, 2013: A contrast-enhanced image produced from the Hubble images of comet ISON taken  reveals the subtle structure in the inner coma of the comet.

AP/NASA

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Some of Mike Hankey's observations of Comet ISON since he began imaging the comet in September.

Mike Hankey

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Some of Mike Hankey's observations of Comet ISON since he began imaging the comet in September.

Mike Hankey

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Some of Mike Hankey's observations of Comet ISON since he began imaging the comet in September.

Mike Hankey

Comet ISON May hubble telescope fireworks

May 8, 2013: The Hubble Space Telescope captured this view of Comet ISON, C/2012 S1 (ISON) as it streaked between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars at a speed of about 48,000 mph.
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Comet ISON April Hubble photos

April 10, 2013: These images of Comet ISON were taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, when the comet was 386 million miles from the sun. The image at right has been computer-processed to reveal the structure of ISON's inner coma.
NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

Comet ISON 2012

Sept. 22, 2012: Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) photographed at the RAS Observatory near Mayhill, NM, by amateur astronomers Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero and Nick Howes of the Remanzacco Observatory.
Remanzacco Observatory/Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero & Nick Howes

In pictures: ISON, 'comet of the century' no more?

Comet ISON, which astronomers hoped would turn into "the comet of the century," flew past the sun over Thanksgiving -- and appears not to have survived the journey. Here, a look back at the comet's journey.

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