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NASA says Comet ISON may have survived its sun skirmish (VIDEO)

Hold the phone. Experts now think Comet ISON may have survived its close encounter with the sun after initial reports showed it likely was vaporized.

Comet ison 2013 11 29Enlarge
ISON appears as a white smear heading up and away from the sun. ISON was not visible during its closest approach to the sun, so many scientists thought it had disintegrated, but images like this one from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory suggest that a small nucleus may be intact. (ESA/NASA/SOHO/GSFC/Courtesy)

Hold the funeral.

Experts now think Comet ISON may have survived its close encounter with the sun on Thanksgiving after initial reports showed it was likely vaporized.

More from GlobalPost: Stunning NASA video shows Comet ISON hurtling toward sun (VIDEO)

Material from the comet appeared on the other side of the sun Thursday night, surprising observers who had wrote off the giant snowball of frozen gases, rock and dust as DOA.

"The question remains whether it is merely debris from the comet, or if some portion of the comet's nucleus survived, but late-night analysis from scientists with NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaign suggest that there is at least a small nucleus intact," NASA said on its website.

Karl Battams, a comet scientist for the Naval Research Laboratory, told CNN he agreed that some parts of ISON's nucleus survived perihelion.

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

"Now it has emerged and started to brighten, we need to observe it for a few days to get a feel for its behavior," he said.

ISON skimmed just 730,000 miles over the fiery surface of the sun at roughly 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday.

Most astronomers had predicted it would not survive the fly-by.

Discovered by Russian scientists in 2012, the comet contains material assembled during the very formation of the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago.

It escaped from the Oort cloud, a grouping of debris halfway between the sun and the next closest star, several million years ago.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/131129/nasa-says-comet-ison-may-have-survived-its-sun-skirmish-video