Comet's solar 'death plunge' captured by NASA camera
Astronomers say comet collision was coincidental with large solar flare
A tiny comet sailed through space towards the sun on Tuesday, diving into it before vanishing. Moments later, the sun expelled a large solar belch.
The comet was captured on video by NASA and European Space Agency's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. Scientists created video of the comet's dive toward the sun using the SOHO images.
Astronomers said the comet's dive, which some are calling the 'death plunge,' was a case of solar synchronicity: The comet was too small to cause such a big disturbance on the sun. They suggest that the crash of the comet and the timing of the solar flare were just a big cosmic coincidence.
According to observers from monitoring site SpaceWeather.com, the comet is a member of the Kreutz family. Kreutz comets are remains from a single giant comet that broke up many centuries ago. They get their name from 19th century German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz.