[meteorite-list] Hubble Catches Views of a Jet Rotating with Comet 252P/LINEAR

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2016 17:08:07 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201605140008.u4E087Qp010694_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Hubble Catches Views of a Jet Rotating with Comet 252P/LINEAR
News Release Number: STScI-2016-14
May 12, 2016

For thousands of years, humans have recorded sightings of mysterious comets
sweeping across the nighttime skies. These celestial wanderers, "snowballs"
of dust and ice, are swift-moving visitors from the cold depths of space.
Some of them periodically visit the inner solar system during their journeys
around the sun.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured images of Comet
252P/LINEAR just after it swept by Earth on March 21. The visit was one
of the closest encounters between a comet and our planet. The comet traveled
within 3.3 million miles of Earth, or about 14 times the distance between
our planet and the moon. The images reveal a narrow, well-defined jet
of dust ejected by the comet's icy, fragile nucleus. These observations
also represent the closest celestial object Hubble has observed, other
than the moon. The comet will return to the inner solar system again in
Received on Fri 13 May 2016 08:08:07 PM PDT

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