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Comet ISON is confirmed dead after brush with Sun

A comet that grabbed attention worldwide for being likened to a massive snowball in space did not survive its brush with the Sun last week, NASA confirmed on Tuesday. "Though the exact time of ISON's death is uncertain it does appear to be no more. All that is left is a cloud of debris without a nucleus," C Alex Young of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center told AFP in an email. Dubbed the "Christmas Comet," the icy giant described as a massive, dirty snowball skimmed past the Sun at a distance of just 730,000 miles (1.17 million kilometers) around 1830 GMT on Thursday.

No return from the dead for Comet ISON

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The last vestiges of Comet ISON are fading from view after a sizzlingly close encounter with the sun, scientists said on Monday. "Comet ISON is now just a cloud of dust," astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on SpaceWeather.com, a NASA-backed website. "Experienced astrophotographers might be able to capture the comet's fading ‘ghost' in the pre-dawn sky of early December, but a naked-eye spectacle is out of the question," he wrote.

Hadfield says no need to panic after flash of light and explosion near Montreal

MONTREAL - Don't panic, says Chris Hadfield. That was the Canadian astronaut's down-to-earth advice after many people tweeted they saw a blue flash and heard a thundering boom in the Montreal and Ottawa areas Tuesday night. Two Ontario-based professors said Wednesday the phenomenon was likely a fireball, with one suggesting it was probably between the size of a baseball and a basketball when it passed through the atmosphere.

Comet ISON probably did not survive Sun skirmish

Comet ISON seems to have perished in a much too-close encounter with the Sun, leaving only a dust trail that will disappear over time, astronomers said on Friday. The evidence, however, is not yet confirmed, and some stargazers are holding on to hopes that a small streak satellite images have shown emerging from the flyby may point to an against-the-odds survival.

AFP Graphics Advisory

Thursday's graphics: -- INTERNATIONAL -- Available by 1500 GMT: HONDURAS-VOTE - Bar chart showing the results of the Honduran presidential election. 90 mm wide Available now: CHINA-JAPAN-DIPLOMACY - Map showing Air Defence Identification Zones over the East China Sea. 130 x 142 mm THAILAND-POLITICS-PROTESTS - Updated timeline of the political crisis in Thailand. 130 x 171 mm. - Updated map locating protests in central Bangkok. 90 x 104 mm BRAZIL-ACCIDENT-FBL

Comet ISON expected to put on show as it passes near the sun

TORONTO - If the stars align, a large comet rocketing towards the sun will be putting on a show to delight more than just the world's astronomers. The comet ISON has been on stargazers' radar since late last year when it was seen hurtling towards the sun and showing every sign of passing very close to the centre of the solar system. Those predictions will come to pass today at around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. eastern time, when ISON is expected to be just 1.2 million kilometres from the sun.

Scientists await Comet ISON's encounter with the sun

Washington, Nov 26 (EFE).- Comet ISON is approaching its encounter with the sun, forecast for Thursday, something astronomers await anxiously since this is an astronomical event rarely seen. ISON will pass a relatively scant 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles) from the sun's surface, which has experts wondering if it will be destroyed by the solar turbulence or survive to star in an amazing celestial spectacle coinciding with Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The comet will reach its perihelion, the moment when it will be closest to the sun, on Thursday.

Incoming comet ISON heading for close encounter with sun

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A comet is heading for a close encounter with the sun later this month, and if it is not vaporized or torn apart, it should be visible to the naked eye in December. Comet ISON is expected to pass just about 621,000 miles (1 million km) from the sun's surface on November 28.

Is the 'Christmas Comet' cracking up?

An incoming comet that skygazers had hoped would provide one of the greatest celestial shows of the century, could be a fizzle. So say astronomers tracking the eagerly-awaited Comet ISON as it races to a searing encounter with the Sun. Formally known as C/2012 S1 (ISON), the comet was spotted by a pair of hard-working amateur Russian astronomers, Vitaly Nevski and Artyom Novichonok, on September 21, 2012. It is called ISON because they used a telescope called the International Scientific Optical Network near Kislovodsk, in the northern Caucasus.

First-ever comet material discovered on Earth

A comet exploded over modern-day Egypt 28 million years ago, raining down fire and leaving behind a "mysterious" black pebble -- the first-ever comet material found on Earth, scientists said Tuesday as they announced the discovery. "Comets always visit our skies -- they're these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust -- but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth," said professor David Block at South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand.
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