Bright Sun-grazing Comet (June 15, 2007)
Hi-res TIF image (1.4M)
SOHO had a ring-side seat to watch as a sun-grazing comet swept by the Sun on June 8, 2007. With its tail stretching far out behind it, it was one of the brightest sun-grazers that we have seen. This one belongs to the Kreutz family of comets, thought to belong to a much larger comet that broke up some 2,000 years ago These groups are the result of a much larger comet that broke up some 2,000 years ago during its perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) passage. By Kreutz standards, this one is quite bright, since they are often very small! This comet was discovered by Shihong Yuan. So far SOHO has observed over 1,300 comets.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.