Science: Shy Comet

Comets don't always oblige the comet fanciers. Last week a bright but furtive comet called 1947-N was already 100 million miles from the earth and rushing toward the dark outer fringe of the solar system at 35 miles a second. Only the southern hemisphere got a good look when it was near and bright.

Now the comet's head (probably a collection of small, meteorlike objects traveling together like a swarm of bees) had separated into three parts. Its tail (gases driven away from the head by pressure of the sun's light) had dissipated. Only astronomers with powerful telescopes could follow the departing...

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