NASA’s SDO YouTube channel has released some amazing new video, showing comets as they pass close by the sun. When they do, the deformation of the comet’s tail shows where magnetic field lines are pulling at the material in the tail. As the video explains, this process is not unlike meteorologists releasing barium tracers into the upper atmosphere of our Earth to study the wind currents there.
The video goes on to note that we are “in a period of high solar-grazing comet activity,” and NASA will continue to be using these comets to study the mysteries of how the sun works, as well as answering some questions about the solar wind as they track the path of comet tail dust back out into the Solar System. The next SGC expected to make its way around the Sun will be in November of the upcoming year. So… mark your calendars, space fans!