Comet 17P/Holmes Hubble image series
These images taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveal Comet Holmes's bright core. The images show that the coma, the cloud of dust and gas encircling the comet, is getting fainter over time. The coma was brightest in the 29 Oct. image. It is two times fainter on 31 Oct. and nine times dimmer on 4 Nov. than during the 29 Oct. observation.
The coma is getting fainter because it is expanding. A huge number of small dust particles were created during the 23 Oct. outburst. Since then those particles have been moving away from the nucleus and filling interplanetary space. The coma therefore is becoming more diffuse over time.
The nucleus, however, is still active and is producing a significant amount of new dust. So the region around the nucleus is still much brighter (at least 10 times brighter) than it usually is at this point in the comet's orbit.
About the Image
|Release date:||15 November 2007, 15:00|
|Size:||4600 x 1666 px|
About the Object
|Type:||• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet|
• X - Solar System Images/Videos
Colours & filters
|555 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|
|675 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|