Astronomy Picture of the Day
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August 26, 1995
Two Tails of Comet West
Credit: Observatoire de Haute, Provence, France
Here Comet West is seen showing two enormous tails that wrap around the
sky. The ion tale of a
usually appears more blue and always points away from the
The dust tail trailing the comet's nucleus is the most
prominent. Comet West was a visually spectacular
reaching its most picturesque in March of 1976. A
this bright occurs only about once a decade. Comets are really just
large dirty snowballs that shed material when they reach the inner
solar-system. Many astronomers are hopeful that
Comet Hale-Bopp will look
as spectacular as this in the spring of 1997.
Tomorrow's picture: Gamma Ray Bursts from the Unknown
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