4
$\begingroup$

After SOHO began watching the Sun from space with its coronagraphs 24/7 it was discovered that there are comets passing very close to the Sun quite regularly, and while some are destroyed, some are seen to emerge and continue on.

From these observations and from all other comet and asteroid observations there should be quite a collection of objects whose orbits take them very close to the Sun.

Is there any way to find out What is the closest an asteroid or comet has passed the Sun and survived?


Here is a GIF I made for this answer also used in this answer. In addition to some comets you can see Venus on its approach to occultation by the Sun in 2016. Seeing the Pleiades so close to the Sun is exciting as well!

These LASCO C3 images from SOHO were downloaded sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/data_query. The square frame is about 15.9 degrees wide.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

Wikipedia offers some useful info on sungrazers:

As of October 21, 2017, there are 1495 known comets that come within ~12 solar radii (~0.055 AU).[2] This accounts for nearly one third of all comets.[3] Most of these objects vaporize during their close approach, but a comet with a nucleus radius larger than 2–3 km is likely to survive the perihelion passage with a final radius of ~1 km.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sungrazing_comet

There's a bit about pyroxenes sublimating off at 7 solar radii, but no mention of whether any such object made it around the sun. Pyroxenes generally melt at around 1000°C. An Iron/Nickel body melting at 1538°C/1455°C might well make it through a 7 solar radii passage.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.