VIDEO! Comet killed plunging into the sun at a million miles per hourAn amazing video captured by the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a spacecraft jointly launched by NASA and the European Space Agency in 1995, shows how a comet getting fully destroyed while diving towards
An amazing video captured by the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a spacecraft jointly launched by NASA and the European Space Agency in 1995, shows how a comet getting fully destroyed while diving towards the sun at a mind blowing speed.
The event, captured between Aug 2 and Aug 4, shows the comet getting vaporized by the intense forces near the sun just as it came too close.
Such comets that are swallowed by the sun are known as Kreutz sungrazers. They are believed to be small pieces from a single large comet that broke up into little fragmented pieces thousands of years ago when it got close to the sun and the ice binding it together evaporated.
'Sungrazers' which pass within 850,000 miles (1.38million km) of the sun's surface, often shatter or evaporate in its heat.
Scientists study them as it helps them learn more about the sun.
"This is one of the brightest Kreutz sungrazers we've seen over the past 21 yrs. Awesome!" astronomer Karl Battams tweeted.
Battams also said that the comet was the "fastest object in the solar system" when it was destroyed by 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," Sarah Frazier of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland wrote in a statement.
According to Spaceweather.com, Kreutz comets travel along what is called the Kreutz path, a single orbit that takes 800 years to complete. Kreutz comets pass by the sun and disintegrate almost every day, and while most go unnoticed, larger fragments such as the recent sungrazer can be spotted more easily.
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has been constantly looking at the sun and its surrounding environment for more than 20 years.
The mission of this spacecraft was to predict space weather but it has made several discoveries about the sun and also noted number of these sungrazer comets.