SOHO/NASA/Twitter

Watch the Sun absolutely destroy the fastest object in the Solar System

Mesmerising. 

MEGHAN BARTELS/TECH INSIDER
8 AUG 2016
 

Any comet is cool, but a sungrazer comet has an extra claim to fame - it dives perilously close to the sun, within 850,000 miles (1,367,942 km) of the surface of that giant, flaming ball of plasma.

Sometimes this doesn't go so well for the comet, though.

 

On Wednesday, SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) - a joint mission between NASA and the European Space Agency that has spent two decades staring at the Sun - caught incredible footage of a so-called sungrazer comet.

The mission shared the clip on Twitter.

If you look closely, you can see the ice ball blasting out a huge, ultra-bright plume of dust and gases as it plunges toward its doom:

According to Karl Battams, who runs the sungrazer study program at the US Naval Research Laboratory, the comet was traveling at more than 300 miles per second (482 km per second) - which likely made it the fastest object in the Solar System during its death dive - and was totally destroyed by the Sun.

He added that fellow astronomer Matthew Knight of the University of Maryland ranked the comet among the 10, or perhaps even five brightest objects spotted by SOHO.

The video is particularly stunning thanks to the incredible coronal mass ejection (basically a solar explosion) happening on the left-most limb of the Sun in the clip.

This article was originally published by Tech Insider.

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