Watch a comet spend its final moments on a collision course with the sun

A comet's fatal descent into the sun has been caught on camera.

Video of the unnamed comet was filmed on Thursday by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a spacecraft operated by NASA and the European Space Agency which launched in 1995.

The video shows the comet, believed to be a type known as a Kreutz sungrazer, heading directly for the sun before disappearing.

The collision itself is obscured - an opaque disk blocks the sun itself to prevent glare, making it easier to observe phenomena like solar flares. 

Venus can be seen just above the sun while Mars is off to the left, space.com reports.

NASA/ESA
The comet about to hit the sun. Photo credit: NASA/ESA

Kreutz sungrazers, named for 19th century astronomer Heinrich Kreutz who studied them, fly extremely close to the star - sometimes passing by only a few thousand kilometres from the surface.

It's believed they used to all be part of a much larger ancient comet which was destroyed. 

Smaller ones like the one seen by SOHO tend not to survive their close encounter. 

Newshub.

 

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