|Sundiving Kreutz comet captured in the STEREO COR2A instrument at 04:54 UT (click to embiggen)||Same comet captured in the SOHO Lasco C2 instrument at 05:00 UT|
While all eyes are on the spectacle of comet C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS (and rightly so), there is a lot of other cometary action out there. The STEREO and SOHO spacecraft recently caught a bright Kreutz comet on its final plunge into the Sun.
The comet evaporates before it reaches the occulting disks of the respective spacecraft imagers. The comet approaches from diffent quadrants of the imagers because of the spacecraft's different orbits. In the SOHO images the bright object bottom right is Venus, the long bright horizontal spike is an imaging artefact. Venus is not Visible from STEREO COR2A.
Animation of the comet in STEREO COR2A. Images stacked, cropped and animated using ImageJ.
Animation of the comet in SOHO Lasco C2. Images processed as above.