Image of the Day: Comet ISON

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

When comet ISON was first spotted last year, astronomers said that it could potentially become brigter than a full Moon by the time it swings past the sun towards the end of this year, making it a once-in-a-century comet. However, based on recent observations taken from Mars' orbit by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as the comet passed by, ISON is looking depressingly dim. If we're lucky, it may end up about as bright as Venus: you'll be able to see it, but we're holding out hope that the century will bring us something a little more spectacular.

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HiRISE, via Discovery

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