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Bright sungrazing comet taking a plunge into the Sun

sungrazing-comet-march-2017

A new, bright sungrazing comet appeared in SOHO LASCO C3 imagery around 17:40 UTC on March 2, 2017 and his death dive is still visible today, available to be tracked almost in real-time.

The comet will hopefully appear in LASCO C2 imagery before it vaporizes. 

Sungrazing comets have been observed for many hundreds of years, possibly even as far back as the year -371.

Space-based observatories began to detect them in 1979, but high-quality videos became available to the public only with the launch of SOHO spacecraft in 1995. 

SOHO's imagery is available here.

A sungrazing comet appeared in SOHO's LASCO C3 coronagraph imagery around 00:40 UTC on August 2, 2016 and made its closest approach to the Sun around 05:15 UTC on August 4, becoming one of SOHO's top 10 brightest sungrazers. Its estimated speed at the end of the journey was 600 km/s.

You can watch its spectacular demise in the video below.

Featured image: Sungrazing comet on March 3, 2017. Credit: ESA/NASA SOHO/LASCO C3

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