Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spectacular views of a Comet Nucleus

The solid heart of comet Hartley 2, looks rather like a dog's bone, quite different to what I would have expected a comet nucleus to look like! Conspiracy 'theorists', might think it looks like some kind of weird alien spaceship masquerading as a comet.

For more useful scientific information, and for some spectacular photograph, have a look at the following web sites: one at Bad Astronomy and the other at Astronomy Picture of the Day

The photographs were taken when the EPOXI mission spacecraft came close to it. You can plainly see jets of dust and gas squirting out from the roughened ends of the comet nucleus.

The mission is not just about science and pretty pictures, if a comet was likely to ever impact the Earth, then the more we understand comets, the better we could execute a mission to save the Earth.

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