Home > Anything Else > NASA’s Hubble Telescope Snaps ‘Comet of the Century’ Fireworks

NASA’s Hubble Telescope Snaps ‘Comet of the Century’ Fireworks

By Tariq Malik, Space.com – “The Comet ISON shines like a cosmic skyrocket in a new video from the Hubble Space Telescope as the icy wanderer, which some astronomers have billed as a potential ‘comet of the century,’ streaks through our solar system at a staggering 48,000 mph.

The new Comet ISON video, which NASA released Tuesday (July 2), is a time-lapse view created from images of the comet obtained using the Hubble telescope on May 8. At the time, the comet was about 403 million miles (648 million kilometers) from Earth and crossing between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. NASA officials likened the comet’s extreme speed to a skyrocket on the Fourth of July.

‘The movie shows a sequence of Hubble observations taken over a 43-minute span and compresses this into just five seconds,’ NASA officials explained in a video description. ‘The comet travels 34,000 miles in this brief video, or 7 percent of the distance between Earth and the moon. The deep-space visitor streaks silently against the background stars.’ [Photos of Comet ISON in the Night Sky]

The blue hue of ISON in the new video is actually a false-color view of the comet as it appeared through the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Comet ISON was discovered by amateur astronomers in September 2012 and is headed for a close encounter with the sun in late November of this year.” Read more.

Flashback: NASA: ‘Comet Of The Century’ To Blast Earth With Unusual Meteor Shower – “Anticipation is building as Comet ISON plunges into the inner solar system for a close encounter with the sun in November 2013. Blasted at point-blank range by solar radiation, the sungrazer will likely become one of the finest comets in many years. When NASA’s Swift spacecraft observed the comet in January 2013, it was still near the orbit of Jupiter, but already very active. More than 112,000 pounds of dust were spewing from the comet’s nucleus every minute.” Read more.

Flashback: ‘Comet Of The Century’ That Could Shine Brighter Than The Moon Later This Year – “.. Comet ISON may bloom brighter than the full moon in November, according to the space agency. But this early view from the Hubble telescope offers a glimpse of the comet ahead of schedule. About as far from the sun as the planet Jupiter, the comet is now headed toward the sun at 47,000 mph, its 3- to 4-mile-wide core heated by the sun to produce a tail. When it returns from its zip around the sun later this year, it will be much brighter in the nighttime sky, perhaps earning a ‘comet of the century’ title, the space agency suggests.” Read more.

Categories: Anything Else
  1. 08/07/2013 at 4:16 PM

    Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!


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