This composite Hubble Space Telescope image captures the positions of Comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet, which happened at 2:28 p.m. EDT October 19, 2014.
On that date the comet passed by Mars at approximately 87,000 miles (about one-third the distance between Earth and the Moon). At that time, the comet and Mars were approximately 149 million miles from Earth.
NASA, ESA, J.-Y. Li (PSI), C.M. Lisse (JHU/APL), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
This composite NASA Hubble Space Telescope image captures the positions of comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet, which happened at 2:28 p.m. EDT October 19, 2014. The comet passed by Mars at approximately 87,000 miles (about one-third of the distance between Earth and the Moon). At that time, the comet and Mars were approximately 149 million miles from Earth. The comet image shown here is a composite of Hubble telescope exposures taken between October 18, 8:06 a.m. EDT to October 19, 11:17 p.m. EDT. Hubble took a separate photograph of Mars at 10:37 p.m. EDT on October 18.
The comet image shown here is a composite of NASA Hubble Space Telescope exposures taken between October 18, 8:06 a.m. EDT and October 19, 11:17 p.m. EDT. Hubble took a separate photograph of Mars at 10:37 p.m. EDT on October 18.
The Mars and comet images have been added together to create a single picture to illustrate the angular separation between the comet and Mars at closest approach. The separation is approximately 1.5 arcminutes, or 1/20th of the angular diameter of the full Moon.
The background starfield in this composite image is synthesized from ground-based telescope data provided by the Palomar Digital Sky Survey, which has been reprocessed to approximate Hubble's resolution. The solid, icy comet nucleus is too small to be resolved in the Hubble picture. The comet's bright coma, a diffuse cloud of dust enshrouding the nucleus, and a dusty tail, are clearly visible.
This is a composite image because a single exposure of the stellar background, Comet Siding Spring, and Mars would be problematic. Mars is actually 10,000 times brighter than the comet, and so could not be properly exposed to show detail in the Red Planet.
The comet and Mars were also moving with respect to each other and so could not be imaged simultaneously in one exposure without one of the objects being motion blurred. Hubble had to be programmed to track on the comet and Mars separately in two different observations.
The images were taken with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.
Credit: NASA, ESA, J.-Y. Li (PSI), C.M. Lisse (JHU/APL), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
For images and more information about comet Siding Spring and Mars, visit:
For additional information, contact:
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Ariz.
571-488-9999 or 301-367-6315
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
240-228-0535 or 443-778-0535
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington, D.C.
Ray Villard | newswise
Light-emitting bubbles captured in the wild
28.02.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies
28.02.2017 | Clemson University
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
28.02.2017 | Life Sciences
28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.02.2017 | Information Technology