On August 15, 2019, a comet was seen to demise and get absorbed directly into the sun. This was observed by the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The video which has been captured by the observatory, it is seen that the sun is encircled with some objects. At the right on the top of the sun Venus is seen; the planet appears to be bright and easily identifiable. At the left hand side, Mars is visible. It is identifiable but not as clear as Venus. After 10 seconds in the video, the comet is visible. It appears as a white snow ball, clearly visible.
The comet directly moves in the direction of the sun. On its way it gains strength from the solar atmosphere. The comet gradually gets destroyed but for obvious reasons the same is not visible in the video. Tony Phillips, an expert astronomer compared the comet with a Kreutzsungrazer. Kreutzsungrazers are unique set of comets. These do not have any specific definition. These are under research for hundreds of years. Kreutz first observed these comets in 1880–90s. Scientists state that these comets are detached parts of a big and old comet. Before this, SOHO had identified couple of other comets, namely, Meyer sunskirter and Kreutzsungrazer. These did not get that close to sun as the recent Kreutzsungrazer.
These comets were identified by citizen scientists. They used data from NASA Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and SOHO to identify these space objects.
Under the Sungrazer Project, scientists have discovered almost half of the comets known to exist. The discovery has helped them to research further on the composition, evolution and orbit of the comets. More the number of comets are discovered, it becomes easier for the researchers to understand the scientific significance and details of these unique space objects.
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