The comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) helped scientists to probe a magnetic field of the Sun

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In December 2011 the comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3), endured extremely close

rapprochement with the Sun. The comet helped scientists to probe structures of a magnetic field in the closest vicinities of a star where no spacecrafts can get. Comet Lovejoy C/2011 W3 was found by the Australian astronomer Terry Lovejoy on November 27, 2011. Calculations showed that on the night of December 16 the comet will fly by at the minimum distance from the Sun — only in 140 thousand kilometers from a star surface. It is more than 100 times shorter than a distance between the Sun and Mercury, and is twice less, than distance from the Moon to Earth. Scientists were sure, that the comet completely will evaporate even before perihelion passing. However the comet safely rounded the Sun and left on the other hand that became sensation for astronomers.

Supervision showed that the comet Lovejoy C/2011 passed at distance 1,2 radiuses of the Sun from the star center. That is in 140 thousand kilometers from its visible surface, through a zone of the bottom crown where temperature reaches million degrees. Cooper Downs group of the Predictive Science Inc company used a comet as a probe. Watching a tail from an evaporating cometary material, scientists could see details of a solar magnetic field. In connection with computer modeling it allowed the astronomers to create the card of a magnetic field along a trajectory of a comet and to confirm their models. Movement of a tail of a comet, which they observed, confirmed existence of spatial features of a magnetic field of a crown.