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What is a Sungrazing Comet? | Sungrazing comets are a special class of comets that come very close to the sun at their nearest approach, a point called perihelion. To be considered a sungrazer, a comet needs to get within about 850,000 miles from the sun at perihelion. Many come even closer, even to within a few thousand miles.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope provides a close-up look of Comet ISON (C/2012 S1), as photographed on April 10, when the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter’s orbit at a distance of 386 million miles from the sun. Credit:NASA, ESA, J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute), and the Hubble Comet ISON Imaging Science Team.
Comet ISON moves ever closer to the sun in this movie from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, captured in the early hours of Nov. 27, 2013. A coronal mass ejection explodes off the sun – it is unlikely to damage ISON even if they cross paths. Image Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO
Giant NASA Balloon Ready to Hunt Potentially Dazzling Comet ISON | Space.com This photo shows the Comet ISON-hunting BRRISON balloon gondola pointing out the door of the hangar for a night time pointing test, to acquire images of stars and planets with both instruments. The instrument will ride a giant NASA balloon to track Comet ISON, the potential "comet of the century."
Cassini has detected propylene, a chemical used to make food-storage containers, car bumpers and other consumer products, on Saturn's moon Titan. This is the first definitive detection of the plastic ingredient on any moon or planet, other than Earth. More at: go.nasa.gov/1eULpiu