Was there ever another comet like ISON?
Although no two comets are exactly alike,
one that appears to have had notable similarities was Comet Kirch, the
Great Comet of 1680.
Comet Kirch was a bright
making a very
to the surface of the Sun.
Neither comet, coincidently, is a member of the most common group of
sungrazers -- the
Kreutz group --
populated by remnants of a comet that
disintegrated near the Sun hundreds of years ago.
The long tail of Comet Kirch is depicted in the above painting by
As pictured, some members of the foreground crowd of
the Netherlands are holding
an angle measuring device that predated the
No one knows how
will develop, but like Comet Kirch, it is expected to be
brightest when very near the Sun, in
during last few days of November.