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New Comet Found, Vaporized - with video

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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:44 PM
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New Comet Found, Vaporized - with video
Amateur astronomer Alan Watson discovered the small comet while pouring over pictures taken in December 2009 by NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO. (See pictures of the sun taken by spacecraft.)

The space agency's orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) then witnessed the bright, unnamed comet get vaporized on January 3. (Related picture: "Sun Probe Spies New Periodic Comet.")

SOHO was able to watch the comet plunging toward the sun thanks to its occulting disk, seen as an opaque circle at the center of the images. The disk creates an artificial solar eclipse, blocking out direct glare from the sun to reveal the fainter solar corona and surrounding stars, planets, and other objects.
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