Published: 30th August 2021
#ThrowbackToday: The first time humans recorded a comet colliding with the Almighty Sun
In today's #TBT, we take a trip back to a very significant day — the day when humans recorded an instance when a comet clashed with the Sun. What followed? Read on to find out
What happens when a comet violently crashes into the Almighty Sun at 10,30,000 kmph?
Well, the very first time humans noticed this phenomenon was on August 30, 1979, and it was reported only in 1981. The result was the generation of tremendous energy, equal to one million hydrogen bombs, and debris, which were dispersed across the galaxy even 11 hours after the actual impact. All this wealth of information was discovered by the Naval Research Laboratory and they did so by analysing the data from a Defense Department satellite.
Sungrazers — that's what these kinds of comets are called, those that pass really close to the Sun. It is so rare that in the past 300 years, only eight sungrazers have been recorded. What's special about the comet that we are talking about? Scientists say that its tail alone was as long as three million miles and effulgence was so bright that it could be compared to Planet Venus! We must remember why comets are always an area of interest for scientists, they are known to carry material leftover from the beginning of galaxies. That would mean that the scientists would discover a lot about the past.
This event was the first such collision recorded which makes it a remarkable day indeed.