So Long, SWAN…

Remember that newly-discovered comet we mentioned a couple of days ago?  Well, it’s gone. Poof. Into the Sun and never to return, it was a sungrazer’s final voyage.

The video above features images from the SOHO spacecraft and description from Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, with music by Kevin MacLeod.

Alas, poor SWAN… at least we knew him.

Read more about the history of Comet SWAN on the Sungrazing Comets site. Video credit: NASA/SOHO (and thanks to Phil Plait for the assembly.)

7 Replies to “So Long, SWAN…”

  1. was that again another emission from a comet hit? Is it possible that these comets get most of the way through the sun and out the other as a debris ejection. like almost getting through the convection zone. or even all the way.

    1. There’s absolutely no way a comet would go through the Sun… even if it didn’t get vaporised by the heat, it would lose all of its kinetic energy through friction with the Sun’s material.

      1. That is what I was thought just not smart enough to determine that myself! I thought the Outer layer was thin enough and with enough velocity. But seems a lot of these impacts result in a blast from the opposite side of the sun or nearly so.

      2. I must admit that little “puff of smoke” that appears just after the comet impacts… kinda does make it look like it shot all the way through!

      3. I have seriously seen this several times here on UT and other sites particularly on the soho site. So it’s not like a fluke, not to be confused with the woman.

      4. Is it possible that the impact of the comet onto the Sun causes seismic waves in the Sun that the converge on the opposite side and get focussed there? This happens on solid bodies- for example there is a range of jumbly looking hills on Mercury directly opposite the Caloris basin.

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