Comet Lovejoy's close-encounter with Sun reveals secrets

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A comet's close encounter with the Sun has given scientists a look at a region that has never been visited by spacecraft.

In 2011, comet Lovejoy hurtled deep into the Sun's violent atmosphere - an area called the solar corona.

Telescope images have revealed how the comet's tail was pulled about by an intense magnetic field, allowing scientists to characterise this force for the first time.

Here, lead researcher Cooper Downs explains the remarkable images of Comet Lovejoy passing the Sun to Science magazine.

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