Watch a massive comet crash into the sun and vaporize immediately
A comet was caught by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory last Sunday while observing solar movements.
“The doomed comet was almost certainly a ‘Kreutz sungrazer,’ a fragment from a giant comet that broke apart many centuries ago,” astronomer Tony Phillips wrote for Spaceweather.com. “A swarm of these fragments orbits the sun, and every day at least one gets too close and disintegrates. Most, measuring less than a few meters across, are too small to see, but occasionally a big one like today’s attracts attention.”
The comet couldn’t resist the intense gravitational pull of the sun, CNET reported.
THE COMET DID NOT SURVIVE: As with most sun-diving comets, this one did not come out the other side of the Sun after its nearest approach to the Sun (perihelion). 🙁 pic.twitter.com/ok5fHbfdDv
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) August 7, 2022
Taking the above image as a reference, it’s safe to say that the sungrazer has evaporated in the face of the sun’s high and powerful heat.
More about the comets
Small solar system bodies that begin to heat up and release gas as they pass near the sun are called comets. Comets can range in size from a few hundred meters to tens of kilometers.
According to NASA, “Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock, and dust that orbit the Sun. When frozen, they are the size of a small town. When a comet’s orbit brings it close to the Sun, it heats up and spews dust and gases into a giant glowing head larger than most planets. The dust and gases form a tail that stretches away from the Sun for millions of miles. There are likely billions of comets orbiting our Sun in the Kuiper Belt and even more distant Oort Cloud.”
Let’s get to know “Kreutz sungrazers”
Characterized by their orbits extremely close to the sun, Kreutz sungrazers are thought to be fragments of a large comet that broke apart a few centuries ago. Named after the German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, these objects can sometimes be seen around the sun in the daylight. The most recent of these was Comet Ikeya–Seki in 1965, which may have been one of the brightest comets in the last millennium.