NASA captures Comet ISON speeding toward the sun

27 November 2013 5:43 PM

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NASA captures Comet ISON speeding toward the sun

New images from NASA show Comet ISON moving past Mercury and Earth toward the sun.

The comet should be visible from Earth on Thanksgiving Day, as it will come within 730,000 miles of the surface of the sun, its closest approach to the solar surface. If it survives that trip without breaking up, it will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere to the naked eye, NASA reports. It will be "particularly bright and beautiful," according to the NASA website.

The new images were recorded from NASA's STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) spacecraft between Nov. 20 and 25th.

ISON stands for International Scientific Optical Network. The comet's official name is C/2012 S1, reports.

Two Russian amateur astronomers first discovered Comet ISON in September 2012 with a remotely operated telescope.

Comet ISON is still made of matter from the earliest days of the formation of the solar system, NASA reports.


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