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- Title Comet Hale-Bopp
- Released 13/05/2003 2:52 pm
- Copyright H.A. Weaver (Applied Research Corp.), P.D. Feldman (The Johns Hopkins University), and NASA
This ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope picture of Comet Hale-Bopp shows a remarkable 'pinwheel' pattern and a blob of free-flying debris near the nucleus. The bright clump of light along the spiral (above the nucleus, which is near the centre of the frame) may be a piece of the comet's icy crust that was ejected into space by a combination of ice evaporation and the comet's rotation, and which then disintegrated into a bright cloud of particles.