March 12 : Comet Hits Sun

We all know that Halley’s comet orbits the Sun every 75 years or so and that a number of other comets orbit the Sun in their own orbits. But does every comet swing round the Sun and continue their journey through the solar system?

No. Not all the time. Sometimes they will get too close to the Sun and will end their journey with an impact with the Sun itself.

Comet Impact March 12, 2010

And this has happened only a few months ago and was captured by the 2 spacecraft which are constantly monitoring the Sun.

Searching through the archived pictures of  the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory archives, we have put together the pictures on the left  taken on March 12,2010 where the image on the left shows the comet heading toward the Sun. The image on the right shows the comet as it is about to or is at that time it is impacting with the surface of the Sun.

How do we know that the comet impacted with the Sun? Simple. It never appeared on the other side of the Sun and simply disappeared  from view after reaching the sun in the center of the picture.

If you want to see these images ourself, you can access the SOHO archives at  http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/data_query and look first at the LASCO C2 images for the required date and then look at the LASCO C3 images.

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~ by sydneystargazers on June 3, 2010.

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