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."
How could this story be made any more sci-fi? The comet's name is Lovejoy. Feels like a creepy omen of doom, with all the NDAA and SOPA stuff going on back here on earth today.
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 more tracking data from NASA. And of COURSE the comet is on Twitter, live-tweeting its own infernal demise.
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.
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