Every once in a while, the Sun gets a little hungry; in those times, it grabs on a little comet snack, and every once in a while, these ‘snacks’ are caught on tape. However, never has a comet been captured so spectacularly in its final moments as with the video released by NASA Tuesday.
This type of comets is called sungrazers, and in about 90% of the cases they come from the Kreutz comet group, a family of comets that was detected by Sergey Shrupakov. Kreutz was a huge comet that disintegrated centuries ago, and whose pieces are extremely close to the Sun, which is why they sometimes crash into it. What makes it so spectacular is that at the moment of impact a coronal ejection blasts through, creating the illusion that our star can be affected by a lump of dust and ice; well, it can’t, it was just a coincidence. But exremely spectacular nonetheless.