On Sunday, January 3, 2010, a comet within the family of Kreutz Sungrazers will be approaching the Sun at a very close orbital path.
And, it is expected to collide with the Sun on this Sunday. Astronomers predict that the Sun will be the victor in this battle.
Who do you think will win this David and Goliath matchup?
The January 3, 2010 comet has a nucleus that is only a few meters across. The Sun has a diameter of roughly 1.4 billion meters (0.86 billion miles).
The David-and-Goliath scenario seems well taken here.
A comet is a small body that is composed of a nucleus (coma) made up of ice, along with some water vapor, carbon dioxide, other gases, and dust. It also has a long tail made of dust and ionized gases.
Such an icy body moves about the Sun in a highly eccentric orbit. The comet's ionized tail points away from the Sun due to the force of the solar wind upon it.
The tail can be as long as 250 million kilometers (155 million miles), which we can normally see when the comet gets nearer to the Sun due to increased interactions between it and the solar wind.
Page two continues with additional background information on this comet and others like it.