Dramatic view and the highest resolution of the comet so far filling the view. See also this version (if you have 3-D glasses handy).
Archive for the 'Comets' Category
Rosetta has officially arrived at 67P/CG and here is today’s look. These images have apparently been brightened considerably as the comet is supposedly darker than fresh asphalt. It would be good to see what that actually looks like, perhaps something will surface.
Image from 130km. Each pixel is about 2.4 meters.
This mission is just not getting enough public attention. Launched in 2004, the mission has already flown by Mars and two minor asteroids 2867 Šteins in 2008, and of 21 Lutetia in 2010. However, the real target of the mission is coming this week… a comet with the unforgivable name 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Rosetta will go into orbit around the comet and observe it for the coming months as it nears the Sun which will cause it to start acting more like a comet and forming the familiar tail. As if that were not enough, a small lander named Philae will attempt to land and attach itself to the comet in November.
Especially if you have kids with an appreciation for science. These guys regularly do great animations that explain complex science — appropriate for all ages. They also promise a series of cool videos about cool moons in our solar system. So far they have only covered our own, next up… Mars’ Deimos and Phobos.
Somehow we missed this image of Comet Hartley in Nov of 2010. Now that the probe that was Deep Impact (known as Epoxy in the extended mission) has passed away, I thought it a good excuse to show this amazing shot which has far more detail than the two we published here previously.
I just found this on Gordan Ugarkovic’s Flickr page. I just sped up the frame rate.
What NASA thinks we might be looking at here is an asteroid that was recently shattered by another asteroid, giving it a comet-like appearance. It stays within the asteroid belt, so it cannot be a comet as those objects are known to be dusty ice-balls that stay in highly elliptical orbits around the Sun.
Not at all meant as a “gotcha” at all… but I just love when I take the time to clean these up and people start using these my clean-ups over the ones officially released. Daily Galaxy posted my Comet Halley clean up and I knew I recognized it as my handy work. They most likely got it off Google image search.
Currently there is a comet paying us a visit and can be seen with the naked eye. It can currently be found near Saturn in the night sky, but for those of you who lack the proper equipment and warm coats why not check out spaceweather.com’s Comet Lulin page of amatuer astrophotography.
The image above is by Rich Richins taken on Feb 21, 2009. According to Rich, “Comet Lulin is nearing its peak brightness, and is showing two beautiful tails. The colors are striking. Even through the eyepiece, the tail extends easily over a degree”.
The Planetary Blog today posted an animation of Comet Halley captured by Vega 1 in 1986. The low quality of the Vega images reminded me of how low quality all the mission images to Halley were for their historic encounters. There was one image I found of Halley taken by Giotto that seemed to me to be the best I had ever seen in terms of detail and captured much of the coma that envelopes the nucleus as well. Here is that original image which was found at www.astro.lu.se.
The odd thing about it is the rarity of its use anywhere and the site that provided it gives no other detail about it other than “Nucleus of Comet Halley. Giotto fly-by 1986”. So out of curiosity, I decided to do a google image search for “Comet Halley” and turns out that the wallpaper image created by wanderingspace that features this image comes up first!
In the interest of full disclosure, I thought I would post the original to show how it was beautified. Most of the work was really cleaning up the noise and removing artifacts. Much of that noise was in the form of posterization and happens in the coma. So that noise was largely blurred out since the coma would pretty much just be a large blur of white at any rate, but the rate of gradation was still maintained for some level of legitimacy. Color was added to the image last, but that is entirely artistic. That and the upper left corner of the coma which was extended to fill the frame are the only fictional parts of the image.
All in all… it seems to me that when you remove the artifacts, you pretty much have the final image which was used for the wallpaper image. Less manipulation and more “clean-up” which is what I try to do with all images here when needed.
Must have missed this earlier image of Holmes. In the interest of seeing the comet better, the background stars were reduced with software and the surrounding space around it was darkened. You can see the original image here taken by Ivan Eder.
Here is Comet Holmes just a week after the previous post. The original image had multiples of star trails which have been quickly removed in Photoshop, probably resulting in some subtle “clumping” artifacts in the surrounding coma. For reference, here is the orignal by Chris Schur.