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.
November 13, 1996
Explanation: Comet Hale-Bopp is turning out to be quite unusual. One reason is the great amount of jet activity at such a large distance from the Sun. In the above false-colour image, no less than seven jets can be seen emanating from Hale-Bopp's coma. As a comet nears the Sun, it's surface warms causing jets of previously trapped gas and dust to stream away from the nucleus. Astronomers continue to study Comet Hale-Bopp's unusual jet activity and wonder how much about the early Solar System Hale-Bopp will teach them, and how bright Hale-Bopp will ultimately become.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC