Comet 'Dragged' Into Sun, SOHO Observatory Detects Comet Just Before It's Destroyed (VIDEOS)
Poor comet, we hardly knew ye.
Just hours after being discovered, this comet met its end, barreling into the sun and likely disintegrating. Amateur astronomers Michal Kusiak of Poland and Sergei Schmalz of Germany reportedly first found the comet on September 13, shortly before it crashed into the sun on the 14th.
According to Spaceweather.com, the comet was actually a member of the the Kreutz family of comets, meaning it broke off of a larger mass. Typically comets like this are too small to see, but in this case, it was just big enough to remain visible.
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured the entire event.
Coincidentally, the comet headed for the sun just hours after a massive solar storm took place. The two incidents were not linked, however.
Space.com writes that the comet was "dragged" into the sun, and the sun has recently been unleashing more coronal mass ejections and strong solar flares "as it works toward a maximum in its 11-year activity cycle. Just last week, for example, the sun generated two X-class flares — the strongest type — and three CMEs."
In May, another comet hit the sun, seemingly creating a massive coronal ejection. However, while there seems to be an ejection following this collision as well, scientists hesitate to say that comets are capable of creating these reactions. There currently is no definitive proof to suggest the two events are related.
WATCH the comet starting to be dragged in on September 13 (via Space.com):