NASA released stunning footage of comet ISON arching around our sun while dissolving into a pile of steaming rubble. But despite the awesome visuals of a flaring, sputtering comet hurling toward and around our sun, scientists are even more excited about having gathered historic amounts of data based on the elements and gasses that comet ISON released into space as it approached the sun’s heat. First discovered in September 2012, scientists have been closely monitoring ISON for new information about the range of elements and gasses that constitute comets. Although scientists have been studying comets and asteroids for decades, much about these flying objects remains unknown.
Images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope