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Comet’s death dive into the Sun

A TYPE OF COMET KNOWN AS a sun-grazer has met a fiery end, plunging into the Sun and evaporating.

The event was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, which continually monitors the Sun. In the video above, the comet can be seen approaching from the bottom right.

According to SOHO Project Scientist Bernhard Fleck, “this is one of the brightest sun-grazers SOHO has recorded…”

Comets diving in towards the Sun are a fairly common event.

Scientists were delighted with this particular event—the SOHO spotted the comet as it disintegrated over about a ten-hour period, something never observed before.

The angle of the comet’s orbit brought it across the front half of the Sun where it seemed to brighten when it stuck hotter masses of particles above the Sun’s surface.

Adapted from information issued by NASA / ESA.

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