NASA Captures Images Of A Comet Hitting The Sun At A Million Miles An Hour [VIDEO]By Ron S., UniversityHerald Reporter
NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, also known as SOHO, captured a series of images of a comet hitting the Sun at a speed of just above a million miles per hour.
The comet is one of many cosmic objects classified as "sungrazer comets," which are cosmic objects with high-elliptical orbits that comes relatively close to the center of our Solar System at least at one point on its revolution around our Sun, CNET reported.
The particular comet was part of the Kreutz family of comets, which are distinguished by its icy composition. A Kreutz comet is typically composed of an ice crust with a rock interior.
Some comets with high-elliptical orbits can reach as far as the bounds of Pluto, and plunges close to the Sun, while some head straight to its destruction, given enough time.
The images were taken between August 2 and 4, wherein researchers at the NASA facility had spotted a Kreutz comet attempting to make its routine pass around our Sun. It turns out that the Kreutz comet was in its final voyage.
The comet has been recorded to hit the surface of the Sun at a staggering 1.34 million miles per hour. The event marks the speed reached by the Kreutz comet to be the fastest known object within the Solar System, albeit it had meant its destruction along the way, according to Blastr.
The impact has relatively no apparent effect on the center of our Solar System.
— Karl Battams (@SungrazerComets) August 3, 2016
Researchers have stated that the comet was somewhat scheduled to hit the star as it was due to have its closest pass around the Sun, rather that it was pulled from its orbit. The Kreutz comet was completely vaporized upon close proximity from the surface of the Sun, according to the NASA website.
Karl Battams, an astronomer at SOHO and part of the Sungrazer Comet Project, stated that the comet was one of the brightest Kreutz sungazers that the facility have seen for the past 21 years.