Is there still hope for ‘dead’ Ison comet?
It was a journey 5.5 million years in the making, but comet ISON’s trip appears to have been cut short by the Sun.
Scientists, who have been tracking its path since last year, saw it pass 1.2 million kilometres from the Sun where it then disappeared without a trace. At that distance, the comet would have reached temperatures of 2,760 degrees Celsius, hot enough to vaporise it.
If any fragments survived the close encounter, they would be visible to the naked eye within a week or two from Earth.
However there’s still some hope the comet survived and could be visible in the coming days, the European Space Agency suggested on Friday through Twitter.
Well well, seems reports of comet #Ison's demise have been greatly exaggerated! We'll keep you posted throughout the day…— ESA (@esa) 29 Novembre 2013
Latest photos from the SOHO observatory show some parts of the comet have gone through the Sun’s corona while experts consider that it’s too early to say if the comet really “survived”.
ESA Science (@esascience) 29 Novembre 2013
So..we’ll let you know when we know more! – comet #ison has an exciting tale to tell for sure. Thanks for your patience :-)— ESA Science (@esascience) 29 Novembre 2013