New Delhi: It is rare that we get to experience a rare event that takes place deep in space, however, thanks to the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), who have made such an experience possible.
The latest occurrence that caught the scientists' eyes was a bright comet plunging toward the sun on August 3-4, 2016, at nearly 1.3 million miles per hour.
As per NASA, this comet, first spotted by SOHO on August 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.
The comet in question didn’t dip into the sun, but sort of 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, reported NASA.
The image released by NASA shows the moment of the encounter. The disk of the sun is represented by the white circle in the image.