An ill-fated comet’s death-plunge into the fiery surface of the Sun has been captured on video by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) space telescope.
In the stunning footage, the ‘Kreutz sungrazer’ comet can be seen diving directly into the Sun as it goes out in a blaze of glory on Thursday.
A number of prominent celestial bodies can be seen in the video, including Venus and Mars, however the damned comet steals the show as it streaks across space and plows directly into the Sun (which SOHO has blocked with an opaque disc to increase visibility).
Kreutz sungrazers are a family of comets that fly very close to the Sun – sometimes just thousands of kilometers from its surface. They are named after astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, who studied them in great detail. The space rocks are in fact fragments of one giant comet which was smashed into smithereens centuries ago. After Thursday’s dramatic death, there’s now one less of them in the sky.