Deep Impact Comet Hunter Gets a Closer Look at "Comet of the Century" ISON

ISO is approaching the sun, probably on its first flyby

By on February 6th, 2013 15:11 GMT

The comet ISON promises quite a spectacle towards the end of the year. Until then, astronomers are keeping an eye on this peculiar comet. ISON is approaching the sun and will graze by later this year.

NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft was able to get footage of the comet on its approach. Deep Impact is a comet hunter and has already observed two up close. 

The craft filmed ISON as it hurtles through space from 793 million kilometers, or 493 million miles away.

"This is the fourth comet on which we have performed science observations and the farthest point from Earth from which we've tried to transmit data on a comet," Deep Impact's Project Manager Tim Larson said.

The distance made it harder to transmit the video it shot back to Earth, but the team got the data they needed in the end. The video isn't going to win any awards, but is quite interesting nonetheless.

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