‘We have never seen a comet like this’: Will the Comet ISON survive its close brush with the sun on Thursday?

National Post | News

WASHINGTON — Comet ISON is teasing the solar system as it dances with the sun and it’s giving astronomers mixed signals.

Will it meet a fiery death — or survive — when it whips around the sun on Thursday?

The icy comet will be only about 1.6 million kilometres away from the sun’s super-hot surface during its close encounter on American Thanksgiving. On Monday, it looked like it was about to die even before it got there. On Tuesday, it appeared healthy again.

“We have never seen a comet like this,” Naval Research Laboratory astrophysicist Karl Battams said during a NASA news conference Tuesday. “It has been behaving strangely.”

Because it is so close to the sun, ISON will likely not be visible from Earth on Thursday — except via a fleet of NASA telescopes and spacecraft aimed at the comet as it gets closest to the sun at 1:37…

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