PIA17485: Comet Halley
Target Name: Comet
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Product Size: 1836 x 961 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: European Space Agency (ESA)
Full-Res TIFF: PIA17485.tif (5.295 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA17485.jpg (160.2 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

In 1986, the European spacecraft Giotto became one of the first spacecraft ever to encounter and photograph the nucleus of a comet, passing and imaging Halley's nucleus as it receded from the sun. Data from Giotto's camera were used to generate this enhanced image of the potato shaped nucleus that measures roughly 15 km across. Some surface features on the dark

Every 76 years Comet Halley returns to the inner solar system and each time the nucleus sheds about a 6-m deep layer of its ice and rock into space. This debris shed from Halley's nucleus eventually disperses into an orbiting trail responsible for the Orionids meteor shower, in October of every year, and the Eta Aquarids meteor shower every May.

Image Credit:
NASA/ESA/Giotto Project

Image Addition Date:
1986-03-14