MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of a sungrazing comet. These are comets that pass very close to the Sun at perihelion. Sometimes they can skirt above the photosphere at distances of just a few thousand kilometres - the mere diameter of a small planet. Occasionally comets are completely evaporated in this process, but some can last several passes before either falling into the Sun or disintegrating because of tidal forces.
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