Connect to share and comment

Stunning NASA video shows Comet ISON hurtling toward sun (VIDEO)

NASA's STEREO spacecraft captured incredible video of Comet ISON as it streaks toward its Thanksgiving Day encounter with the sun.

Comet ison video 2013 11 27Enlarge
A screengrab from a video shot by NASA's STEREO spacecraft showing Comet ISON as it streaks toward its Thanksgiving Day encounter with the sun -- one it may not survive. (Screengrab)

A NASA spacecraft has captured incredible video of the Comet ISON as it streaks toward a Thanksgiving Day encounter with the sun — one it may not survive.

The video comes from NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft, one of several space observatories tracking the comet's fateful journey.

More from GlobalPost: Scientists await Comet ISON's encounter with the sun

It captures the comet over a five-day period from Nov. 20 to 25.

ISON can be seen streaking by Mercury, the Comet Encke and Earth.

The sun's orange, glowing rays are seen to the right.

Astronomers and space geeks alike are eagerly awaiting the fate of the comet as it skims less than 700,000 miles from the fiery solar surface at roughly 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday.

More from GlobalPost: Comet with tail heading toward the sun may outshine the moon

A collision could result in a spectacular show in the sky.

But it could be a big dud if ISON vaporizes before reaching the sun.

"It could very well turn out to be really awesome," astronomer Yan Fernandez of the University of Central Florida told USA Today. "Or it could all turn out to be a big disappointment."

NASA will host a Google+ Hangout discussion from 1 to 3:30 p.m. EST on Thursday to discuss the comet’s journey through the solar system, and what the public worldwide may see in coming days as the comet attempts to approach the sun on Thanksgiving Day.

The Hangout will be broadcast publicly on the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's YouTube and Google+ pages.

You can also try to watch the comet yourself. Any place with a low horizon and a dark sky free of artificial lights will do, according to LiveScience.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/131127/nasa-video-shows-comet-ison-hurtling-toward-sun-video