Suicide Comet HD Video

Captured March 12, 2010 The SOHO spacecraft captured a very bright, sungrazing comet as it rocketed towards the Sun (Mar. 12, 2010) and was vaporized. This comet is arguably the brightest comet that SOHO has observed since Comet McNaught in early 2007. The comet is believed to belong to the Kreutz family of comets that broke up from a much larger comet many hundreds of years ago. They are known to orbit close to the Sun. A coronal mass ejection (CME) burst away from the Sun during the bright comet’s approach. Interestingly, a much smaller comet that preceded this one can be seen about half a day earlier on just about the identical route. And another pair of small comets followed the same track into the Sun after the bright one. Such a string of comets has never been witnessed before by SOHO. SOHO’s C3 coronagraph instrument blocks out the Sun with an occulting disk; the white circle represents the size of the Sun. The planet Mercury can also be seen moving from left to right just beneath the Sun. To learn more and to download the video and still images go here: sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/pickoftheweek/old/15mar2010/ Credit: NASA/GSFC/SOHO

Rosetta Comet Marches On

This image, taken by ESA Rosetta navigation camera, was taken from a distance of about 53 miles 86 kilometers from the center of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on March 14, 2015. The image has a resolution of 24 feet (7 meters) per pixel and is cropped and processed to bring out the details of the comet’s activity. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19687

Taking a Comet Temperature

Subsurface temperature maps of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, showing the southern hemisphere of the comet. The maps are based on observations obtained with ESA MIRO instrument. The maps are based on observations obtained with the Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Obiter (MIRO) at millimeter (left) and sub-millimeter (right) wavelengths between September and October 2014. The MIRO data are projected on a digital shape model of the comet. A temperature bar (in degrees Kelvin), is to the right. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19970