If a three-mile-long ice chunk, otherwise known as Comet ISON, appears as scheduled this December, the Maryland Science Center has promised special programming in its honor.

I say “if” because this once-in-a-lifetime comet with a tail “tens of millions of miles long” will have to survive a trip around the sun, during which it will get dangerously close to our nearest star — within 700,000 miles. That’s close enough to destroy it.

But if it doesn’t get blown apart, it’s going to look awesome, and it’s going to hang in the sky for weeks.