This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope picture of comet Hale-Bopp shows a remarkable "pinwheel" pattern and a blob of free-flying debris near the nucleus. The bright clump of light along the spiral (above the nucleus, which is near the center of the frame) may be a piece of the comet's icy crust that was ejected into space by a combination of ice evaporation and the comet's rotation, and which then disintegrated into a bright cloud of particles.
This full-field picture, taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (in WF mode), shows the comet against a stellar backdrop in the constellation Sagittarius.
About the Image
|Release date:||10 October 1995, 05:00|
|Size:||512 x 512 px|
About the Object
|Type:||• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet|
• X - Solar System Images/Videos
Colours & filters
|Optical||Hubble Space Telescope|