Photo Agency - Astronomy - Space - Nature

> Bill & Sally Fletcher gallerie

SlideShow Image 19 / 20

Comet Hyakutake March 1996

auteur: B.&S.Fletcher/Novapix

référence: a-com04-00013

Image Size 300 DPI: 37 * 26 cm

This is the spectacular Comet Hyakutake as it passed closest to Earth in March of 1996. The solid portion or nucleus of a comet is made up of ice, frozen gases, dust and small rock. And it is relatively small - less than 15 miles in diameter. As its orbit takes it closer to the sun, this frozen mass begins to melt and a coma, which is a gaseous cloud, develops around the nucleus. This coma can grow to be tens of thousands of miles in diameter. Finally a tail also develops which can become millions of miles long. This color photo reveals the blue-green glow around the coma, the yellow-red shroud of a dust tail, and the many long blue streamers of the ion tail.

Keywords for this photo: