Year in Review: Visitor from the Oort cloud

Comet ISON meets demise in solar flyby

By Gabriel Popkin, 13:21 PM December 12, 2013


Comet ISON was an ordinary-sized comet with an extraordinary story. It started out millions of years ago in the faraway Oort cloud (SN: 10/19/13, p. 19), where remnants of the early solar system hang out in deep freeze. A passing star may have given one of these remnants a nudge, launching it on a journey that would bring it to within 1.2 million kilometers of the sun in 2013.


Two astronomers with the International Science Optical Network discovered the remnant in September 2012, while it w...

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