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Published: Tuesday, 11/26/2013

Comet dances with sun, death; giving mixed signals

ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this photo provided by NASA, its shows comet ISON from the Hubble Space Telescope. In this photo provided by NASA, its shows comet ISON from the Hubble Space Telescope.
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WASHINGTON — Comet ISON is teasing the solar system as it dances with the sun.

It’s giving astronomers mixed signals. Will it meet a fiery death? Or survive?

The comet will whip around the sun on Thanksgiving, only 1 million miles away from the super-hot surface. On Monday, it looked like it was about to die even before the comet gets closest to the sun. On Tuesday, it appeared healthy again.

Even if the comet dies, Johns Hopkins University scientist Carey Lisse said there’s a good chance that people on Earth will get an interesting cosmic show. The comet’s remains could paint the sky with a wide swath of green.

Lisse gives the comet a 30 percent chance of surviving.



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