The celebrity comet NEOWISE has been in the news for quite some time now. What was also seen as a small tiny dot in the sky has now been shown in the full view, thanks to the new images clicked by NASA Hubble Space Telescope.
The images of the comet were taken on August 8, where one can see the comet’s coma. The comet can be seen surrounded with a cloud of gas and dust as the sun’s energy is hitting the surface of the icy comet.
The news was shared in an official press release by NASA, which announced that it is the first time when Hubble has photographed a comet of this brightness at such resolution after it passed the Sun so closely.
The comet NEOWISE crossed the Sun at its closest on July 3 this year, travelling 27 million miles (43 million kilometers) away. While most of the comets usually break apart after such a close interaction with the Sun, NEOWISE’s solid nucleus seems intact, as shown in the images by Hubble telescope.
Lead researcher Qicheng Zhang of Caltech in Pasadena in California, stated in the release, “Hubble has far better resolution than we can get with any other telescope of this comet. That resolution is very key for seeing details very close to the nucleus. It lets us see changes in the dust right after it’s stripped from that nucleus due to solar heat, sampling dust as close to the original properties of the comet as possible”.