SOHO/LASCO C3 Sees a Very Bright Kreutz-group Sungrazing Comet

“One of the brightest Sungrazers we’ve seen in a long time …”,

tweeted Karl Battams (@SungrazerComets) of NRL’s Sungrazing Comets Project.

Very Bright Kreutz-group Sungrazing Comet

A snapshot of the new bright Kreutz comet captured by the SOHO/LASCO C3 coronagraph. This image was created and shared by Karl Battams, @SungrazingComet.

Battams estimates the comet to be approximately 30-50 kilometers wide and expects it to reach speeds of at least 500 km/s when it reaches its demise, vaporized by the sun. The comet currently has a magnitude around 6 and may reach 0 or even -1. This is not another Comet Lovejoy but it could be exciting in SDO imagery like the first comet seen by SDO, C/2011 N3 (SOHO). We look forward to seeing what transpires. Keep an eye out here for updates. For more on this and other sungrazing comets, past, present and future, check out the NRL Sungrazing Comet Project website and follow @SungrazerComets on Twitter.

Meanwhile, here is a video showing the beginning of the comets approach to the sun, observed with the SOHO/LASCO C3 instrument. Look in the bottom right of the video.

credit: NRL/NASA/ESA/SOHO/helioviewer and Karl Battams