18:14 GMT26 January 2020
Listen Live
    Tech
    Get short URL
    3230
    Subscribe

    The comet in the video hits the Sun almost at the center and gets completely evaporated by the heat of the star. Comets of this class fly very close to the Sun’s surface and are frequently obliterated.

    On Thursday, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) space telescope recorded a spectacular video of a comet diving directly into the Sun.

    In the video, an observer can see a number of celestial bodies, including bright Venus situated very close to the Sun, (the image of which is blocked with an opaque disc to increase visibility), a less bright Mars orbiting farther away, and the ‘Kreutz sungrazer’ comet diving almost directly into the center of the Sun.

    This is not the first comet encounter that SOHO detected this summer. On June 20, the observatory captured two comets – a Kreutz sungrazer and a ‘Meyer sunskirter’ – approaching the sun. 

    Kreutz sungrazers are a family of comets that come very close to the Sun – sometimes just thousands of kilometers from its surface, and named after astronomer Heinrich Kreutz who proved that these comets are in fact shards of one larger comet. Sunskirters are comets that do not come as close to the Sun as sungrazers.

    Earlier in 2016, SOHO documented a similar collision, as another Kreutz sungrazer slammed into our star at approximately 373 miles per second.

    Related:

    'Death Comet' Capable of Destroying Small State to Come Close to Earth
    ESA Offers Look at Comet Landscape Taken by Rosetta Spacecraft (PHOTO)
    Fuzzy Green ‘Christmas Comet’ to Make Closest Flyby in Centuries
    Scientists Found Comet As Old As Solar System Inside of Asteroid in Antarctica
    European Space Agency Unveils Plans to Intercept Comet
    Tags:
    comet, Sun
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik