Believed to be fragments of a large comet that broke up several centuries ago, Kreutz sungrazers are characterised by orbits which take them incredibly close to the sun.
The ESA and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured a bright Kreutz sungrazer comet plunging toward the sun on 3-4 August at more than two million kilometres per hour.
“This comet didn’t fall into the sun, but rather whipped around it – or at least, it would have if it had survived its journey,” NASA wrote.
“Like most sungrazing comets, this comet was torn apart and vaporised by the intense forces near the sun.”
Watch the comet plunge toward the sun in the video below.