Comet SWAN Dives into the Sun [hd video]

Sungrazing Comet SWAN (this is its unofficial name), which dove into the Sun's atmosphere late on March 14, 2011, apparently did not survive the trip. Comet SWAN enters the solar corona but does not exit again. SOHO's two coronagraphs followed the comet's track from when it first appeared on Mar 13 through its apparent demise after it made a beeline right towards the Sun. Comet SWAN was a Kreutz sungrazer, a fragment of the same ancient comet that produced sungrazing Comet Lovejoy in Dec. 2011.


Comet Lovejoy was quite a bit larger and the only comet observed by SOHO to survive its pass around the Sun. The CME emerging from the sun's northwestern limb near the end of the movie was not caused by this tiny comet's impact. It is just another eruption of active region1429.




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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Uploaded on March 19, 2012