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Is A Comet Going To Crash Into The Sun Today?

sohocometpic

[A blue moon and lunar eclipse on New Year’s Eve, a meteor shower starting tonight, a solar eclipse on January 15th, and potentially a coment crashing into the sun today.  Man, there’s a lot of things going on up there right now. Tony]

January 3, 2010

DISINTEGRATING COMET: A bright comet discovered by NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft is swinging by the sun today and apparently disintegrating. See the image below to observe the scene in motion:

sohocometanimated

It will be interesting to see if a disembodied tail emerges from behind the coronagraph’s occulting disk in the hours ahead.

This kamikaze comet is probably a member of the Kreutz sungrazer family. Named after a 19th century German astronomer who studied them in detail, Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a giant comet at least 2000 years ago. Several of these fragments pass by the sun and disintegrate every day. Most are too small to see. Today’s fragment is a big exception.

Credit: The comet was found on Jan. 2nd by Australian amateur astronomer Alan Watson, who was inspecting images obtained by STEREO-A’s Heliospheric Imager on Dec. 30, 2009.

ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND ON SPACEWEATHER.COM HERE.

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  1. Lisa says:

    Hi Tony

    Thank you so much for all you do!!

    I was looking at SOHO on 1-2-10 Lasco C3 – I entered the dates to search from 12-7-09 through 1-3-10. Very interesting object comes in from the right and is still continuing through today – I noticed on the video of C2 above that it is just beginning to show up to the right as the video stops. Any ideas on what this might be?

    Peace and Namaste

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