The excitement is mounting. We're going to be talking about comets an awful lot in the coming months.
First of all, we have Comet Ison to enjoy. We hope.
This mountain of ice and dust has come hurtling in from the outer Solar System and is about to swing around the Sun.
At closest approach on 28 November, it will be no more than 1.2 million km (800,000 miles) from our star's boiling surface.
The big question is: will it survive the encounter? "Sungrazers" like Ison very often just fall apart. But if it can remain intact, this "dirty snowball" will swing back out past the orbits of the inner planets, potentially throwing off huge streams of gas and dust.
The comet could appear as a great arc across the sky, no binoculars required. Then again, it might not. Comets are notoriously unreliable.
Written By: Jonathan Amos
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