The moment when a comet that collapsed in the Sun, last days, was recorded by SOHO – the solar and heliospheric satellite.
In the video recorded by SOHO on August 15, 2019, you can see several objects passing by the Sun at high speed, while its brightness is blocked by an opaque disc that reduces the shine. To the right of the sun can be seen the planet Venus, which is bright and easy to locate. In the center-left, and not as bright as Venus, Mars can be seen. After only 10 seconds, the comet can be seen in the video, which is heading towards the Sun, according to Space.
The comet goes directly to the Sun, where it plunges and is destroyed. According to astronomer Tony Phillips, from Space Weather, this comet is most likely the Kreutz type, razor-sharp comets that have their perihelion very close to the Sun. The perihelion is the point where a planet or comet, moving around the Sun, is closest to it.
Observed for hundreds of years, the Kreutz comets were first studied and classified by the German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, between 1880 and 1890. This group of comets is believed to be fragments of an ancient gigantic comet that was destroyed at passing through the perihelion.
This is not the first time SOHO has recorded such a comet. On June 20, 2019, two more were recorded, one from the Kreutz group and the other from the Meyer group (comets that do not come so close to the Sun).
The SOHO mission was launched in 1995 by NASA (US) and ESA (Europe) to study the Sun. With 12 instruments onboard, the SOHO satellite is approximately 1.5 million km from the Earth, being aligned with the Sun and our planet. Most of the images with the Sun were provided by this satellite. SOHO can also be considered a comet-discoverer, having succeeded in detecting thousands of comets.