Update: Lovejoy lives! The comet had a near-encounter with the sun, but survived.
From Space.com: "A newly discovered comet is set to make a death dive into the sun's atmosphere today (Dec. 15), and scientists will have a ringside seat to watch its fiery demise."
Above, the kamikaze comet 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 CREDIT: SOHO/LASCO (ESA/NASA)
It may be visible to the naked eye, from some points on Earth.
Here's an animated gif comprised of of images of comet Lovejoy heading towards the sun, taken on Dec. 12 by NASA's STEREO satellites.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.