NASA Captures A Comet’s Fiery Death Plunge Into The Sun

Posted: Aug 5 2016, 10:53pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 5 2016, 11:00pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


NASA Captures a Comet’s Fiery Death Plunge into the Sun
Credit: NASA/ESA

The sungrazer comet is hurtling towards sun at a staggering speed of 1 million miles per hour and will ultimately be destroyed

Sun is necessary to sustain life but when something gets too close to it, it destroys it. And something like that is going to happen with a bright sungrazer comet too.

NASA has just caught a comet that is making a suicide run at the Sun. The bright comet is hurtling towards sun at a staggering speed of 1.3 million miles per hour and will ultimately crash into it. 

The comet was first spotted on August 1 by Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) – a cooperative effort between NASA and ESA and belongs to Kreutz family of sungrazing comets which are characterized by their highly elliptical orbits that carry them extremely close to the Sun before being swallowed by it. These comets are believed to be the pieces of a large comet that broke up several centuries ago and divided into fragments. These comets are named after German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, who was known for his pioneering research work on sungrazing comets.  

Although giant comets often survive such close encounters but smaller comets, a few meters across, are broken apart when they came close to the sun.

“This comet didn’t fall into the sun, but rather whipped around it – or at least it would have if it had survived its journey. Like most sungrazing comets, this comet was torn apart and vaporized by the intense forces near the sun.” NASA blog says.

The animation was made possible by the observations of SOHO which is one of the several spacecrafts assigned to closely monitor the sun. SOHO has been studying sun for more than two decades and has revealed some of the stunning aspects of the sun and object moving close to it. 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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