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Comet ISON Photographed By Nasa Messenger Mercury Probe (NEW PICTURES)

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A Nasa satellite sent to study Mercury has taken a photo of Comet ISON.

The Messenger spacecraft took the image November 20 when it was 22.5 million miles away from it 42.1 million miles from the Sun.

ISON could be set to provide a spectacular light in the next week as it flies past the Sun on Thursday.

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Messenger has been monitoring ISON as well as another comet, Comet Encke to provide perspectives not available from Earth.

HuffPost UK reader, Roberto De Lorenzo, also took these two pictures of Comet ISON from South Italy last week.

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Earlier this week Nasa released a video of Comet ISON that also featured Comet Encke.

The clip shows the impact of the solar wind on the comet's tails, which in the speeded-up film buffet like smoke in a wind tunnel.

The comets' paths were captured by the HI-1 camera on NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory on 21 November.

Nasa said the comet was "still intact" as it heads towards the surface of the Sun, where it could shine incredibly brightly (if it doesn't fall to pieces).

"The tails streaking out from behind both comets can be seen moving along with the steady stream of particles - called the solar wind - that flows out from the sun."

Meanwhile astronomers remain hopeful that ISON will deliver when it comes within 730,000 miles of the Sun on 28 November. Even if it doesn't manage to shine as brightly as the Moon in the sky - which was once predicted - it could still give scientists great information about its composition, and that of the Solar System, as it starts to break apart.

Comet ISON: Latest Pictures
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