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

Comet Lovejoy from ISS

NASA

This infrared image, photographed by an Expedition 30 crew member aboard the International Space Station in Earth orbit on Dec. 25, 2011, features Comet Lovejoy in a star-filled sky.

Comet Lovejoy's Sun Dive: Model

NASA/SDO

Scientists with NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory mission constructed this model of the sun (yellow sphere) to illustrate the path of comet Lovejoy, C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy), during its plunge through the sun's corona on Dec. 15, 2011. The comet's path as seen from Earth is shown as the blue wire, with arrows noting the direction of travel.

Comet Lovejoy From Space

NASA

This infrared image features Comet Lovejoy and was photographed about 240 miles above Earth from the International Space Station.

Comet Lovejoy Trajectory & Times

NASA

This plot released by scientists with NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory mission shows the position of the comet Lovejoy - C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) - as it will appear at certain times (in GMT) overnight between Dec. 15 and 16, when the comet will plunge through the outer atmosphere of the sun.

Comet Lovejoy Starchart

STEREO/SECCHI NRL

Data from NASA's STEREO spacecraft show the sungrazing comet Lovejoy in relation to background stars on Dec. 11, 2011.

Comet Lovejoy from ISS

NASA

Almost a week after first sighting in the night sky, Comet Lovejoy is visible to the six astronauts and cosmonauts currently aboard the International Space Station.

Sungrazing Comet Lovejoy Seen From Argentina

Jakub Cerny, Jan Ebr, Martin Jelinek, Petr Kubanek, Michael Prouza, Michal Ringes

This series of images shows comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy as it appeared to a remote controlled observatory in Malargue, Argentina on the mornings of Dec. 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 in 2011, just days before it was set to fly through the sun's outer atmosphere. This image was taken by a skywatching team of astronomers that includes: Jakub Cerny, Jan Ebr, Martin Jelinek, Petr Kubanek, Michael Prouza, Michal Ringes.

Comet Lovejoy View from STEREO Ahead Spacecraft

STEREO

STEREO will also be observing the comet from its positions on each side of the Sun. This is the view that the Ahead and Behind spacecraft will have.

Comet Lovejoy's Sun Dive: Model

NASA/SDO

This model of the sun created by scientists with NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the path of comet Lovejoy , C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy), as it would have appeared from Earth in July 2011. The blue line denotes the path of the comet, with arrows showing its direction of travel.

Comet Lovejoy View from Earth (SOHO)

STEREO

This is the basic trajectory of Comet Lovejoy that will be seen by SOHO and SDO

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