Astronomy Picture of the Day

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

February 13, 1997
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More Jets From Comet Hale-Bopp
J. A. DeYoung (USNO)

Explanation: Comets become fountains of gas and dust as they get near the Sun. Solar heat vaporizes the outer layers of these spectacular orbiting icebergs, exposing caverns of pressurized gas that erupt into jets. The above digitally enhanced image of Comet Hale-Bopp was taken on January 29th and highlights several of these dust jets. Here, background stars appear as faint raised streaks. Comet Hale-Bopp is currently brighter than most stars, and is visible in the morning sky. Comet Hale-Bopp will continue to brighten and develop an extended tail until April.

Tomorrow's picture: NGC 1818: A Young Globular Cluster

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.