PIA17483: Comet ISON Brings Holiday Fireworks
Target Name: ISON
Is a satellite of: Unknown target/parent relationship
Mission: Hubble Space Telescope
Product Size: 1008 x 935 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Space Telescope Science Institute
Full-Res TIFF: PIA17483.tif (945.2 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA17483.jpg (115.3 kB)

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Superficially resembling a skyrocket, Comet ISON is hurtling toward the Sun at a whopping 48,000 miles per hour. Unlike a firework, the comet is not combusting, but in fact is pretty cold. Its skyrocket-looking tail is really a streamer of gas and dust bleeding off the icy nucleus. The video shows a sequence of Hubble observations taken over a 43-minute span, compressed into just five seconds. The comet travels 34,000 miles during the exposure sequence.

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