Comet crunch

NEARLY 90 per cent of the 104 comets that the SOHO spacecraft has discovered close to the Sun in the past four years are small fragments of a single giant comet. Astronomers believe they are descendants of a giant comet that broke up, possibly the one observed by the Greek historian Ephorus in 372 BC. The fragments break up every time their 800-year orbit takes them past the Sun, says Doug Biesecker, a SOHO scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
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