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Aug 22, 2013 9:55 AM by Stephen Bowers

Comet meets its end by smashing into the sun

In case you missed it or want to see it again, here is the video from Thursday morning's News 5 Today.

A small comet, just a few tens of meters across, was traveling through outer space when it met up with an obstacle. That obstacle was the sun, and needless to say that comet didn't make it through the hot ball of gas and plasma.

The comet, which was nameless, could be an example of what could happen to comet ISON later this year. ISON is expected to pass near the sun and will be vividly visible from Earth if it can survive that solar encounter. 

The video below, taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft operated by NASA and the European Space Agency, shows the sun blocked out in the middle and the comet coming from the bottom right of the image. The coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun right around the time the comet impacts the sun generates a strong solar wind that often generates the auroras seen in the high latitudes of Earth.

The bright object on the right side and toward the top is Mercury.


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