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Sun feasts on comet for Thanksgiving

Comet ISON moves ever closer to the sun in this image from ESA and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, captured at 9:30 a.m. EST on Nov. 28, 2013.  This image is a composite with the sun imaged by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, in the center, and SOHO showing the solar atmosphere, the corona. Photo by ESA&NASA/SOHO/SDO

Comet ISON moves ever closer to the sun in this image from ESA and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, captured at 9:30 a.m. EST on Nov. 28, 2013.  Photo by ESA&NASA/SOHO/SDO

It was supposed to be the Thanksgiving comet. But it looks like starwatchers won’t have any leftovers.

NASA scientists at the Solar Dynamics Observatory just tweeted sad news:

“We do not see Comet #ISON.”

The BBC is reporting that ISON was destroyed as it disappeared behind the Sun. There were always fears that the star’s gravity could spell doom in its Icarus-like hairpin turn.

But at least one scientist holds out some hope that the comet stayed mostly in one piece and can boomerang.

“At this point, I do suspect that the comet has broken up and died,” says Karl Battams, a comet scientist for the Naval Research Laboratory, who joined a NASA and Google+ chat from Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona. “Let’s at least give it a couple of more hours before we start writing the obituary.”

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