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Comet of the Century: A Horizon Special

Once hoped to be the most spectacular comet in a generation, Horizon examines the insights Comet ISON might bring to some of science's greatest mysteries.

It was hoped that Comet ISON could be the brightest and most spectacular comet for a generation. After travelling towards the sun for ten thousand years, it appeared to have been disintegrated by the heat and tidal forces of the sun in early December 2013.

But ISON's tail of vapourised gas and water, hundreds of millions of kilometres long, may give insights into some of the greatest mysteries of science. It could help explain the origins of the solar system, whether earth's water was delivered on comets and even whether we are alone in the universe.

1 hour

More about comets

More about comets

Watch and listen to clips from past BBC programmes about these icy visitors from the outer reaches of the Solar System.


Role Contributor
Producer Charles Colville
Director Charles Colville
Executive Producer Jonathan Renouf
Series Editor Aidan Laverty


  • Sat 23 Nov 2013 21:15
  • Mon 25 Nov 2013 23:20
  • Tue 26 Nov 2013 00:05
  • Thu 5 Dec 2013 00:10
  • Wed 11 Dec 2013 09:00
  • Sat 21 Dec 2013 19:00
  • Sun 22 Dec 2013 02:55