Is the newly-discovered Kreutz Sungrazer comet doomed?
From an image sequence captured by the Solar and Heliosopheric Observatory (SOHO), it sure looks so. (SOHO is a European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft launched and operated by NASA.)
The SOHO imagery pictures the small comet (shown in white in the bottom left hand corner of the video) heading straight for the sun, where it will burn. The comet is ' on a collision course with the sun,' as Wired notes.
NASA suspects the 'doomed comet' to be a member of the Kreutz Sungrazers, which are a class of comets made up of 'fragments from the breakup of a giant comet at least 2000 years ago,' Space Weather reports. According to the Daily Mail, all of the Kreutz comets that have been discovered so far have met the same fate.
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has beenusing a Coronograph to create a 'false eclipse' and monitor the action via solar images.
See the comet's doomed flight below, then check out another, larger Kreutz comet being 'eaten' by the sun.