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article imageComet collides with the sun during a huge solar eruption (video)

By Andrew Moran     May 17, 2011 in Science
Greenbelt - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured a spectacular image of a comet diving into the sun just as a coronal mass ejection came out on the right side.
On one hand, the universe can be one of shimmering beauty, harmony and order. On the other hand, there can be utter entropy, randomness and sheer coincidences. The latter is what happened between our sun and a comet last week.
According to NASA’s SOHO, a bright comet, most likely from the Kreutz family of comets, which was discovered by amateur astronomer Sergey Shurpakov, slammed into the sun, but as it dove into it a coronal mass ejection blasted out. There is no correlation between the strike and the solar eruption; it was just a coincidence.
A coronal mass ejection is when the sun vents massive amounts of plasma.
SOHO spotted the event between May 10 and May 11. “Interestingly, a coronal mass ejection blasted out to the right just as the comet is approaching the sun,” SOHO scientists stated, reports Space.com. “Scientists, however, have yet to find a convincing physical connection between sun-grazing comets and coronal mass ejections.”
NASA officials also explained that they have proof, through the Solar Dynamics Observatory (a spacecraft that monitors the sun), that the solar eruption occurred prior to the collision with the comet.
“Images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory show that the CME erupted before the comet came close enough to the solar surface to interact with strong magnetic fields,” said the officials, reports Tehran Times.
This isn’t the first time that our sun has been hit by a comet. In December of last year, the sun was hit by an entire fleet of ice comets that struck into the heart of the sun, notes Fox News.
NASA has repeatedly stated that they cannot find any physical relation between star-grazing comets and coronal mass ejections.
More about Sun, Comet, SOHO image, Solar system, NASA
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