Skip to main content

Death-Defying Comet: Photos of Comet Lovejoy's Dive Through Sun

Comet Lovejoy from ISS

Dan Burbank

Comet Lovejoy is visible near Earth’s horizon in this nighttime image photographed by NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, Expedition 30 commander, onboard the International Space Station on Dec. 21, 2011.

Head and Tail of Comet Lovejoy After It Survived the Sun

NRL/SOHO/LASCO

Comet Lovejoy emerged from behind the sun, as seen by the tail and head marked in this SOHO image on Dec. 16, 2011.

Comet Lovejoy from ISS

Dan Burbank

Comet Lovejoy is visible near Earth’s horizon in this nighttime image photographed by NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, Expedition 30 commander, onboard the International Space Station on Dec. 21, 2011.

Comet Lovejoy Dives into the Sun as Seen by SOHO

SOHO

Comet Lovejoy hurtled towards the sun on December 15, 2011, as seen by the SOHO spacecraft.

Comet Lovejoy's Tail Near the Sun

NASA/SDO

This image, taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows Comet Lovejoy diving through the sun's atmosphere on Dec. 15, 2011. Lovejoy's tail is visible as a faint diagonal smudge to the left of the sun, toward the bottom of the image. The tail points from lower left to upper right.

Comet Lovejoy Image by NRL/SOHO/LASCO

NRL/SOHO/LASCO

omet Lovejoy in SOHO/LASCO C3

Comet Lovejoy Nears the Sun

SOHO/LASCO (ESA/NASA)

This image, taken by the NASA/ESA SOHO spacecraft, shows Comet Lovejoy just 90 minutes or so before its closest approach to the sun on Dec. 15, 2011.

SDO and Comet Lovejoy, December 15, 2011

NASA/SDO

SoHo and STEREO spacecraft continue to watch Comet Lovejoy as it moves closer to the Sun and brightens. This still shows the comet headed towards the Sun, December 15, 2011.

Sungrazing Comet Lovejoy

STEREO/SECCHI NRL

Observations from NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft show the sungrazing comet Lovejoy as it approaches the sun in December 2011.

Comet Lovejoy in SOHO Satellite's Sights

SOHO/LASCO (ESA/NASA)

Comet Lovejoy is the bright streak at the bottom of this image, taken by SOHO’s Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) C3 instrument. SOHO's LASCO instrument is a coronagraph. It blocks out the light from the Sun's disc, creating an artificial eclipse. With the central glare removed, fainter objects closer to the Sun can be seen clearly by the instrument at 0830 GMT Dec. 15, 2011

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.