Photos of the Sun

Comet Hyakutake. Mounts and kites

Comet Hyakutake. Mounts and kites

These photos of Comet Hyakutake were taken from the Hubble Space Telescope on March 25, 1996, when the comet passed at a distance of 15 million kilometers from Earth. The images focus on a very small region near the heart of the comet, the frozen solid core and show us an exceptionally clear view of this region of the comet.

The icy regions of the nucleus are activated as they are illuminated by sunlight, releasing large amounts of tail-shaped dust. The sunlight that falls on the dust turns it over and pushes it towards the hemisphere that looks towards the tail.

The comet was discovered by a Japanese amateur astronomer, named Yuji Hyakutake. The comet he discovered today bears his name. The discovery was quickly confirmed by other astronomers in Japan and the news was published worldwide a few days later.

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Album: Photos of the Solar System Gallery: Mounts and comets