Comet Hale-Bopp

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.


H.A. Weaver (Applied Research Corp.), P.D. Feldman (The Johns Hopkins University), and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:10 October 1995, 05:00
Size:512 x 512 px

About the Object

Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
Category:Solar System

Image Formats

Large JPEG
123.4 KB
Screensize JPEG
219.0 KB

Colours & filters

Optical Hubble Space Telescope

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