Comet Fights with the Sun. Loses.

The comet death dive (NASA/ESA/SOHO).
The comet death dive (NASA/ESA/SOHO).

What happens when you put a snowball in front of an open fireplace? It melts. What happens when you throw a comet at the Sun? Erm… it doesn’t end well. In fact, as this daredevil comet proves, comets get vapourized very quickly. And the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured the whole event, here’s a video.

Sungrazing comets are spotted fairly regularly and this particular comet spotted over the weekend is likely a member of the Kreutz sungrazer family. This group of comets are thought to have been spawned when a giant comet broke up over 2000 years ago. However, the larger Kreutz fragments usually make a close approach to the Sun 3 or 4 times a year, but there have been 3 such events in 2010 so far.

As noted by, this could just be a statistical anomaly, but it could be that these fragments are a part of a swarm of comets approaching perihelion (closest approach to the Sun).

Either way, if you’re a comet, don’t venture too close to the Sun, you might get eaten.