Scientists have unveiled about one of the brightest comet events in more than two decades. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has captured a video of a comet’s death dive into sun between August 2 and 4.
The comet met its doomed fate on August 4 as it moved at massive speed towards the sun and was completely destroyed as it approached the sun. The comet zoomed towards the sun at nearly 373 miles per second.
Experts have shared that comets that are swallowed by the sun are known as Kreutz sungrazers. Their orbits take them extremely close to the sun. These comets are considered to be small parts of a big-sized comet that have exploded into smaller pieces thousands of years back when it came in proximity with the sun.
Astronomer Karl Battams was of the view that it was one of the brightest Kreutz sungrazers that they have seen more than past 21 years. According to Battams, the comet was the fastest object in the solar system when it was destroyed by the sun. Its fate was no different than other sungrazing comets as it was also being torn apart and vaporized by the intense forces near the sun.
Experts have shared that Kreutz comet travel along the Kreutz path, a path that takes 800 years to complete. Though Kreutz comets get destroyed by the sun almost every day and do not even come into notice. But the larger ones, like this one are able to be spotted easily.
For over 20 years, SOHO, a joint mission between NASA and the ESA, has been keeping a tab on the sun’s activity. SOHO has made many such discoveries.
According to a story published on the topic by Daily Mail, “It is an amazing animation of the death of a comet. ESA and Nasa’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or Soho, captured the amazing moment just hours ago when the sun claimed its latest victim. The comet was torn apart and vaporized by the intense forces near the sun, as it passed too close.”
Sungrazing comets are those that pass very close to the sun, within 850,000 miles (1.38 million km) of the sun’s surface. Small sungrazers can be shattered or evaporated by the sun’s heat and its tidal forces, while others can survive a close pass. Sungrazers can be as small as 30 to 150 feet ( 9 to 46 metres) in diameter and most don’t survive the trip around the sun. Around 80 per cent of comets captured by Soho travel along the Kreutz path, which is a single orbit taking 800 years to complete.
“Comets are chunks of ice and dust that orbit the sun, usually on highly elliptical orbits that carry them far beyond the orbit of Pluto at their farthest points. This comet, first spotted by SOHO on Aug. 1, is part of the Kreutz family of comets, a group of comets with related orbits that broke off of a huge comet several centuries ago,” according to a recent Space Coast Daily report.
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. The disk of the sun is represented by the white circle in this image.
A report published in Tech Insider informed, On Wednesday, SOHO — a joint mission between NASA and the European Space Agency that has spent two decades staring at the sun — caught incredible footage of a so-called sungrazer comet. The mission shared the clip on Twitter. If you look closely, you can see the ice ball blasting out a huge, ultra-bright plume of dust and gases as it plunges toward its doom.
Who runs the sungrazer study program at the US Naval Research Laboratory, the comet was traveling at more than 300 miles per second — which likely made it the fastest object in the solar system during its death dive — and was totally destroyed by the sun. He added that fellow astronomer Matthew Knight of the University of Maryland ranked the comet among the ten, or perhaps even five brightest objects spotted by SOHO. The video is particularly stunning thanks to the incredible coronal mass ejection (basically a solar explosion) happening on the left-most limb of the sun in the clip.
Source:: Google Science