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.

May 26, 1997

Old Faithful Meets Hale-Bopp
Credit and Copyright: D. Vanderhoff, A. Frazier

Explanation: As Comet Hale-Bopp leaves our Northern Skies, it provides us with yet another burst of joy. On May 11th the fading comet was photographed behind the famous "Old Faithful" water geyser of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, Planet Earth. Perhaps more familiar to Earth Dwellers than the dark geysers on Neptune's moon Triton, the gas geysers on Jupiter's moon Io, and the dirty water geysers hypothesized on Jupiter's moon Europa, Earth's Old Faithful is also reliable - every 60-80 minutes it gushes a plume of water and steam high into the air. Comet Hale-Bopp will continue to be visible to observers in the Southern Hemisphere as it moves away from the Sun towards the outer Solar System.

Tomorrow's picture: Moonrise, Planet Earth

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.