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
Observations of nearby supernova and associated jet cocoon provide new insights on gamma-ray bursts
18.01.2019 | George Washington University
A new twist on a mesmerizing story
17.01.2019 | ETH Zurich Department of Physics
The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research
Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI
The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
16.01.2019 | Event News
14.01.2019 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Event News
18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2019 | Life Sciences
18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine