Oort cloud tosses astronomers a cometary curveball

ISON delivers debris from the dawn of the solar system

By Gabriel Popkin, 18:30 PM October 24, 2013

Pretty much every major telescope in the world is gearing up to witness a meeting that has been scheduled since long before humans walked the Earth. Around Thanksgiving, Comet ISON, a mountain-sized chunk of primordial solar system, will approach within 2 million kilometers of the sun and either fall apart or slingshot back into deep space. Astronomers aren’t sure yet how much of a spectacle ISON will be for earthbound observers, but from their vantage point the comet is already providing a b...

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