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Sun disintegrates kamikaze comet. 2017/03/03

SOHO’s Lasco C3 camera saw this comet on 2017-03-02.
The comet approaches the Sun from lower left quadrant.
The Sun is in Aquarius.
The bright light at right is Mercury.

The comet crosses a vertical asterism of five stars in Aquarius that I call Trisosceles, because I see three roughly isosceles triangles in them (two obtuse, one acute).  More immediately, it looks like a carpet sweeper, or a metal detector.  The five stars are (top to bottom)

90 AQR (HIP 114724)
92 AQR (HIP 114939)
91 AQR (HIP 114855)
   93 AQR (HIP 115033)
 95 AQR (HIP 115115)

Comet passes just below 92 AQR (mag. 4.9), and even closer below the next star (HIP 114763, mag. 7.35) to its right.

The star that emerges from the right side of the occulting disk at 03/03/12:06 is Lambda Aquarius (HIP 112961, mag. 3.7).

The location of Neptune is also in the pictures, not far from Lambda Aquarius.  Neptune is either too dim (mag. 7.96) for SOHO to see, or behind the occulting disk, or both.

The video here was made from images from the NASA/ESA SOHO project.  Original images were 1024x1024 jpegs.

The SOHO/LASCO data used here are produced by a consortium of the Naval Research Laboratory (USA), Max-Planck-Institut fuer Aeronomie (Germany), Laboratoire d'Astronomie (France), and the University of Birmingham (UK). SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

Copyright © 2017 Michael Kaarhus
All rights reserved

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