Comet ISON Has Disappeared, but Comet Lovejoy Has Not (+Photo)

December 10, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Comet ISON has disappeared after its encounter with the sun, and likely broke up into many chunks, but Comet Lovejoy is alive and well.

Lovejoy, discovered in September this year, has increasingly come closer to Earth, enabling better and better pictures.

Lovejoy is clearly visible from dark skies for much of December, NASA says. But the comet will be fading as the month progresses, as it moves toward the outer solar system.

Projections have Lovejoy as closest to the sun on December 22, an encounter it may or may not survive.

Comet ISON, meanwhile, likely suffered a major disruption from its encounter with the sun in late November. NASA scientists are keeping an eye out for large fragments of the comet, but say that there is an over 90 percent probability that it was destroyed and only small pieces of rubble are left.

At the same time, there is a small chance that “a sizeable piee of the comet nucleaus” is left, NASA said in an update. Using a number of space telescopes, scientists will be keeping an eye out in the coming weeks.

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