Nov 28, 2013 11:41 PM by CBS News
After a multimillion-year plunge from the frozen fringes of the solar system, Comet ISON may have broken apart and evaporated in the fierce heat and crushing gravity of the sun before or during a close flyby Thursday, presumably scotching long-held hopes for a dramatic sky show on Earth over the next few weeks.
Or maybe not.
Well after many casual observers had given up on the comet's survival, updated pictures from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft -- SOHO -- showed what appeared to be a long trail of dust extending away from the sun along ISON's trajectory, brightening sharply toward its tip.
Whether it was just a dust trail, or perhaps dust and larger fragments of ISON -- or both -- was not immediately clear. As several observers tweeted and re-tweeted: "It is now clear that Comet #ISON either survived or did not survive, or... maybe both. Hope that clarifies things."