Imaginea Astronomica a Zilei

Descopera cosmosul! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

April 14, 1997
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Hale-Bopp's Hoods
Credit:
J. A. DeYoung (USNO). 61-cm Telescope, Washington, DC

Explanation: Comet Hale-Bopp is spinning. The nucleus of the comet is a dirty snowball about 25 miles in diameter that spins about once every 12 hours. As Comet Hale-Bopp spins, parts of the comet's surface shoot away in jets. Ejected material therefore makes rings, which appear in above photograph as "hoods" in the coma. Even though the central part of Comet Hale-Bopp's coma is quite condensed, the nucleus is not visible. Comet Hale-Bopp is now headed south, away from the Sun, and is getting dimmer. At its brightest last week, it was even brighter than Comet Hyakutake was last year, although with a less prominent tail. Comet Hale-Bopp will still be easily visible to northern observers for several weeks in the northwest sky after sunset.

Imaginea de maine: Hale-Bopp and the Plateau de Bure Interferometer


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Autori & editori: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
Reprezentanti tehnici NASA: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
Un serviciu al: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.