Friday, January 12, 2018
Blue Comet PanSTARRS
from: NASA APOD
Image Credit &
Jose J. Chambo
Discovered with the PanSTARRS telescope on September 7, 2016,
this Comet PanSTARRS,
about 24 light minutes (3 AU) from the Sun,
sweeping through planet
across the background of stars in the constellation Taurus.
An inbound visitor from our Solar System's
Cloud, its beautiful and complex
ion tail is a remarkable shade of blue.
Still relatively far from the Sun, the comet's already well-developed
ion tail is very impressive.
unusually abundant ionized carbon monoxide (CO+) molecules
fluorescing in the increasing sunlight is largely responsible
for the pretty blue tint.
of the blue comet is a combination
of data taken from two different telescopes during the night of
Located at the apex of the V-shaped
Hyades star cluster in
Taurus, bright star Gamma Tauri is responsible for the glow at the
bottom left corner of the frame.