A bright sungrazing comet has entered SOHO/LASCO C3 camera view. While this is SOHO's approximately 3 687th comet discovery, it's only the 7th Sungrazer discovered this year, suggesting we're currently seeing a low-density part of the Kreutz stream.
"House-sized ball of rock and ice is about to be vaporized in several million-degree furnace, while traveling at 0.3% light speed," said astrophysicist Karl Battams of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C.
"This should turn out to be a pretty bright comet. I'm guessing it'll peak around mag 4, but it could surprise us," he said.
While this is SOHO's approximately 3 687th comet discovery, it's only the 7th Sungrazer discovered this year, which is much less than usual.
"Seems we're currently seeing a low-density part of the 'Kreutz stream', which is basically a vast debris trail thru space. So perhaps no surprise that parts of it might be gappy," Battams said.
Featured image credit: ESA/NASA SOHO/LASCO C3, Karl Battams
Register/become a supporter
Your support is crucial for our survival. It makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
You'll receive your ad-free account for 20x faster browsing experience, clean interface without any distractions, ability to post comments without prior editorial check, all our desktop and mobile applications (current and upcoming) ad-free and with the full set of features available, a direct line of communication and much more. See all options.