Named after German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, the comet was one of numerous comets within the Kreutz Sungrazing family of comets.
These Kreutz comets are all thought to have been formed when a much larger comet broke up at least two thousand years ago.
They continue to travel very close to the Sun as they travel around our star.
Some of them are destroyed when they get just a little bit too close to our Sun, while others continue around the Sun, getting another chance to be destroyed on their next trip around the Sun.
For further information on the comet and its demise within the Sun, please read the January 4, 2010 iTWire article “Kreutz Sungrazing comet readies for battle with Sun.”
The comet seen by NASA spinning into the Sun was one of the brightest Kreutz Sungrazers ever observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft in over fourteen years of operations.
Hundreds of Kreutz Sungrazing comets have been observed by SOHO. They have all met their deaths through dramatic interactions with our parent star, the Sun.
Page two continues with the image produced by NASA of the Kreutz comet plunging into the Sun.