Last night astronomers and space enthusiasts alike had the opportunity to witness the rare and dramatic collision of a comet with our biggest star, the sun. In case you didn’t know, a recently discovered comet, christened Lovejoy, was on a fatal trajectory with the sun’s corona. Space.com offered a forecast of the comet’s doeful future:
The comet is not expected to survive this close encounter, experts have said. But if it’s any consolation to Lovejoy, the comet’s last hours of existence will be well-documented for posterity. Scientists have trained a phalanx of satellite instruments on the comet, which is what’s known as a Kreutz sungrazer.
And “well-documented for posterity” it was.
In accordance to the laws of the Internet, anybody or anything that is the least bit significant will end up with a Twitter account, including these celestial players upon the cosmic stage. In fact, the two teased and conversed with each other on Twitter in the hours leading up to Lovejoy’s smoldering demise and, while it doesn’t sound quite as impressive as a “phalanx of satellite instruments,” it certainly wins for best histrionics.
@CometLovejoy – we will be together again…Come to me,
@TheSun, but you don’t have to tantalize me with your radiance – I accept my fate. Cheers.I’ve heard this one before,
You know that white light humans see before they die? I see it. Except it’s fiery and violent. And, well, hot.
@CometLovejoy venturing close, then running away; over and over again. I have the last laugh!You’ve taunted me throughout the millennia
And then, as if some galactic deus ex machina forgivingly nudged Lovejoy with its pivotal hand:
Breaking News! Lovejoy lives! The comet Lovejoy has survived it’s journey around the sun to reemerge on the other side.
Lovejoy rallied! The daring comet would survive after all!
@CometLovejoy escapes my immense gravity well and escapes, again! I thought sharks with laser beams would work. Time for another planNoooo!
After narrowly avoiding a permanent curtain call, Lovejoy embraced its new lease on life and bid a fond farewell to its terrestrial spectators:
Crestfallen, the sun could not be reached for comment following this upheaval of events.