Experts now think Comet ISON may have survived its close encounter with the sun on Thanksgiving after initial reports showed it was likely vaporized.
Material from the comet appeared on the other side of the sun Thursday night, surprising observers who had wrote off the giant snowball of frozen gases, rock and dust as DOA.
"The question remains whether it is merely debris from the comet, or if some portion of the comet's nucleus survived, but late-night analysis from scientists with NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaign suggest that there is at least a small nucleus intact," NASA said on its website.
Karl Battams, a comet scientist for the Naval Research Laboratory, told CNN he agreed that some parts of ISON's nucleus survived perihelion.
"Now it has emerged and started to brighten, we need to observe it for a few days to get a feel for its behavior," he said.
ISON skimmed just 730,000 miles over the fiery surface of the sun at roughly 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday.
Most astronomers had predicted it would not survive the fly-by.
Discovered by Russian scientists in 2012, the comet contains material assembled during the very formation of the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago.
It escaped from the Oort cloud, a grouping of debris halfway between the sun and the next closest star, several million years ago.