A comet is heading for a close encounter with the sun later this month, and if it is not vaporised or torn apart, it should be visible to the naked eye in December.
Comet ISON is expected to pass just about 621,000 miles (1 million km) from the sun's surface on November 28.
Scientists are not sure how ISON will hold up. As it blasts around the sun, traveling at 234 miles per second, the comet will be heated to about 2,760 degrees, hot enough to vaporise not just ice in the comet's body, but also rock and metal.
If the heat does not kill ISON, the sun's gravity may rip it apart. But recent calculations show ISON will survive, scientists say.
The comet was discovered in September 2012 by two amateur astronomers using Russia's International Scientific Optical Network, or ISON, for which the comet is named.
Over the weekend, amateur astronomers began posting the first pictures of the comet on the Internet that were taken with just binoculars or small telescopes.
The comet is moving through the constellation Virgo low in the eastern sky before dawn, astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on SpaceWeather.com.
If predictions prove correct, the comet should be visible to the naked eye in Earth's early morning skies in early December and throughout the night beginning in January.
Presented by Adam Justice