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Comet ISON fails to survive sun flyby

AFP-JIJI

A comet that grabbed attention worldwide for being likened to a massive snowball in space did not survive its brush with the Sun last week, NASA confirmed Tuesday.

“Though the exact time of ISON’s death is uncertain it does appear to be no more. All that is left is a cloud of debris without a nucleus,” C. Alex Young of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center said in an email.

Dubbed the “Christmas Comet,” the icy giant described as a massive, dirty snowball skimmed past the sun at a distance of just 1.17 million km Thursday. Most astronomers had predicted the comet, with an estimated diameter of some 1.2 km, would not survive the flyby.