Death of a comet: ISON fails to live up to its hype

Comet ISON was virtually demolished by its Thanksgiving passage just above the Sun’s surface. Somehow, a few dusty remnants of that ball of ice a mile across survived the 5,000-degree heat just above the solar surface, and the fierce tidal environment.

It wasn’t enough. This week – right now – was when the comet was expected to perform at its very best, with a brilliant tail streaking upward from the predawn horizon. Instead, ISON’s pathetic dusty remnants, continuing by inertia . . .

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