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Fizzle or sizzle?

Predicting how bright a comet will become remains a tricky business.
Whenever a bright comet is predicted to grace our skies, the first question that comes to mind is: Will this one be another dud — another Kohoutek? Although astronomers now have a much better understanding of what makes a comet work than they did when Kohoutek came through in 1973-74, forecasting a comet's brightness remains as much an art as a science. What makes comets more difficult to predict than other objects in our solar system? Simply put, they change far more dramatically as they...

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