Icy comet to zoom past sun on Thanksgiving Day

Published On: Nov 25 2013 07:42:04 AM EST

NASA researchers are eager to find out if an icy comet will survive a close encounter with the sun.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -

It's almost showtime for Comet ISON.

For months, all eyes in the sky have pointed at a comet that's zooming toward a blisteringly close encounter with the sun.

The moment of truth comes Thursday -- Thanksgiving Day.

The sun-grazing comet may fry and shatter, victim of the sun's incredible power. Or it might endure and quite possibly put on one fabulous celestial show.

Should it survive, Comet ISON would be visible with the naked eye through December, at least from the Northern Hemisphere. It already has dazzled observers and is considered the most scrutinized comet ever by NASA. But the best is, potentially, yet to come.

ISON was detected just over a year ago and is passing through the inner solar system for the first time.

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