SOHO sees something new near the sun

February 24, 2015, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

An unusual comet skimmed past the sun on Feb 18-21, 2015, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO.

This was interesting for two reasons. First it's what's called a non-group comet, meaning it's not part of any known family of comets. Most comets seen by SOHO belong to the Kreutz family - all of which broke off from a single giant comet many centuries ago.

The second reason it's interesting is because the vast majority of comets that come close enough to the sun to be seen by SOHO do not survive the trip. Known as sungrazers, these comets usually evaporate in the intense sunlight. This comet made it to within 2.2 million miles of the sun's surface - but survived the trip intact.

"There's a half-decent chance that ground observers might be able to detect it in the coming weeks," said Karl Battams, a solar scientist at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C. "But it's also possible that events during its trip around the will cause it to die fairly fast."

Explore further: First-ever view of a sungrazer comet in front of the sun (w/ video)

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ManintheMoon
5 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2015
This is kind of late news but here is the link to SOHO with stills and video of the close approach of this comet (SOHO 2,875) to the Sun. Will try and pick it up when it moves out of the glare of the Sun into the night sky, Way cool!
http://sohowww.na...theweek/
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (5) Feb 25, 2015
Another sungrazer, another CME. One of these days space scientists will see the 'connection'.
barakn
5 / 5 (4) Feb 25, 2015
CMEs happen on a much more frequent basis than sungrazers. The "connection" is pure coincidence driven by the high frequency of CMEs. Please stop posting pseudoscience.

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