Hubble Looks at a Comet


The Hubble Space Telescope photographed Comet 46P/Wirtanen on 13 December, when the comet was roughly12 million km from Earth. In this visible-light image, the comet’s nucleus is hidden in the center of a fuzzy glow from the comet’s coma, the cloud of gas and dust that the comet has ejected because of heating by the Sun during the pass through the inner Solar System. The blue color was applied to the image using to high-resolution grayscale exposures acquired from the Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.

Image Credit: NASA

Comet 46P/Wirtanen


On Sunday, the comet known as 46P/Wirtanen will make one of the closest comet flybys of Earth in 70 years. You may be able to see it with your naked eyes. It’s already visible with binoculars. This time exposure image of the comet was taken on 2 December suing a 50 mm refractor telescope. The streak in the lower half of the picture was caused by an upper stage rocket body passing through the field of view during the 2 minute exposure.

Image Credit: NASA