Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bright Sungrazing Comet on May 10-11, 2011

A new bright comet diving into the Sun has been discovered on May. 09 by amateur astronomer Sergey Shurpakov using the images taken by SOHO spacecraft. This object belong to the famous Kreutz-group, a family of sungrazing comets that are named after German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz who first studied them in the details. These comet fragments passes extremely close to the Sun at perihelion and usually they completely evaporated during such a close approach.

C3 Image - May 10, 2011 (click to see a bigger version)

(Credit : SOHO)

Yesterday's now-evaporated bright Kreutz comet didn't die alone! This small companion was visible by its side on this C2 image:

(Credit: SOHO; @SungrazerComets):

C2 Movie - May 11, 2011 (click to see a bigger version)

(Credit : SOHO)

This Kreutz probably peaked near mag 2. (It was just starting to saturate in the LASCO cameras)

You can read more details about 2010 bright SOHO comets here:

by Ernesto Guido

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