Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

July 17, 1998

Hyakutake: Stars Through A Comet's Tail
Credit and Copyright: R. Scott and J. Orman

Explanation: Comets are cosmic icebergs. They follow very elongated orbits which carry them from the frozen, remote outer reaches of the Solar System to close encounters with the Sun. Heated by sunlight, they slough off layers of material as gas and dust, forming their characteristic awe-inspiring comas (heads) and tails. In the spring of 1996, Comet Hyakutake inspired Arizona photographers Rick Scott and Joe Orman to take this picture showing faint stars near the constellation Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper) shining through the comet's long, graceful tail. Blown by the solar wind, comet tails generally point away from the Sun.

彗星是宇宙的冰山。 它們沿著非常扁長的軌道運行,從太陽系的冰冷遙遠的外圍來到鄰近太陽的密近內圍。 在陽光的加熱下,它們剝落的物質層化為氣體和塵埃,從而形成它們特有的引人敬畏的彗髮(頭部)和彗尾。 1996年春天,百武彗星激發了亞利桑那州攝影師Rick Scott和Joe Orman的靈感,拍下了這張照片以呈現小熊星座(小北斗星)方向的暗星,在彗星長而優雅的彗尾後方綻放光芒。 在太陽風的吹拂下,彗星的尾巴一般都指離太陽

Tomorrow's picture: Rockets

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