Inside the orbit of Mercury, the comet was hit by solar rays ten times more intense than we experience on Earth.
The close encounter brought it into the field of view of NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft.
This is Comet Pan-STARRS's first visit to the inner solar system. The comet comes once in a hundred million years in the vicinity of the earth and could become a naked-eye object.
The tight conjunction on the 12th provides a splendid opportunity for sunset photographers. Look low and west for a beautiful view.