The comet that grazed the Sun and survived

21 Dec 2011

This story, with a video to view, can be found at after various satellites witnessed Comet Lovejoy fly close to the surface of the Sun and emerge intact. Of course, the orthodox explanation that comets have an icy core is what baffled and surprised scientists - how could a dirty snowball survive such a close encounter? The obvious answer is that it was not an icy body - but rocky (just like those comets spacecraft have filmed in deeper space). Its surprising really just how attached people are to the dirty snowball hypothesis. However, it seems it was not a comet as such - or might not be, rather, but a fragment of something that was much bigger hundreds of years ago. Or, that was the opinion before the sun grazing incident - but not now, as astronomers are now saying it must have been a substantial size in order to survive the close encounter. Comet Lovejoy, to confuse everyone still further, is still very bright as it moves away from the Sun.