Space telescope sees bright comet diving into Sun

Washington: The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, saw a bright sungrazing comet plunge towards the Sun at nearly 1.3 million miles per hour, NASA has said.

This comet, first spotted by European Space Agency and NASA’s SOHO on August 1, is part of the Kreutz family of comets, a group of comets with related orbits that broke off from a huge comet several centuries ago.

Comets are chunks of ice and dust that orbit the Sun, usually on highly elliptical orbits that carry them far beyond the orbit of Pluto at their farthest points.

This comet did not fall into the Sun, but rather whipped around it — or at least, it would have if it had survived its journey, NASA said in the statement on Thursday.

Like most sungrazing comets, this comet was torn apart and vaporised by the intense forces near the Sun.