Photo credit: NASA, ESA, A. Pagan (STScI), and Q. Zhang (Caltech)
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured up-close images of comet NEOWISE on August 8th. They show the gossamer shell of gas and dust that surrounds its nucleus as it is heated by the Sun. It’s the first time the telescope has photographed a comet of this brightness at such resolution after this close of a pass by the Sun. Read more for a video and additional information.
These photographs were snapped after NEOWISE skimmed closest to the Sun on July 3, 2020, at a distance of 27 million miles. Many other comets crumble due to thermal and gravitational stresses at such close encounters, but Hubble’s view shows NEOWISE’s solid nucleus did in fact stay intact.
- Perfect entry-level telescope: The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ is an easy-to-use and powerful telescope. The PowerSeeker series is designed to give the new telescope user the perfect combination of quality, value, features, and power
- Manual German equatorial mount: Navigate the sky with our Newtonian Reflector telescope. It features a German Equatorial mount with a slow-motion altitude rod for smooth and accurate pointing. Adjust rod to desired position, then easily secure by tightening cross knob
- Compact and portable: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is compact, lightweight, and portable. Take the telescope to your favorite campsite or dark sky observing site, or simply the backyard. Optical Coatings: Aluminum
- Multiple accessories: The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope comes with two eyepieces (20mm and 4mm), plus a 3x Barlow lens to triple the power of each. Users can also download BONUS Starry Night Astronomy Software Package
- Unbeatable and customer support: Buy with confidence from the world’s No 1 telescope brand, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a 2-year and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts
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,” said lead researcher Qicheng Zhang of Caltech in Pasadena, California.