A small comet is diving toward the sun today, and it is visible in SOHO coronagraphs. Click here to see the death plunge in action:

Sundiving Comet
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The tadpole-shaped comet vaporizing furiously as it approaches the sun. It is probably too small to survive closest approach, but we won't know for sure until the encounter actually happens later today or tomorrow. Join SOHO for a ringside seat.

The comet appears to be a member of the Kreutz family. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a single giant comet many centuries ago. They get their name from 19th century German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, who studied them in detail. Several Kreutz fragments pass by the sun and disintegrate every day. Most, measuring less than a few meters across, are too small to see, but occasionally a bigger fragment like this one attracts attention.