NASA releases first image of Comet ISON

8:18 PM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
Comet ISON on April 10, 2012, as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope
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CLEVELAND - Earth is in store for quite a show this fall as Comet ISON nears our part of the solar system.

NASA has released a new photograph taken from the Hubble Space Telescope on April 10th, that shows the comet and its tail just inside the orbit of Jupiter.

Dubbed the "Comet of the Century" by astronomers, the comet will get remarkably brighter as it nears Earth and swings around the sun in late November.

On April 10th, ISON was located 394 million miles from Earth and only visible with telescopes.

Hubble found the core of the comet to be between three to four miles in diameter, considered small for comets. However, the comet appears to have a good concentration of elements like frozen water and gases including frozen carbon monoxide and frozen carbon dioxide.

As the comet continues to be influenced by the solar wind and growing warmth of the sun, these elements will burn off to create the tail that now stretches 57,000 miles behind the core.

Astronomers expect ISON to come within 700,000 miles of the sun's surface that could cause it to break up, or put on a remarkable show this fall.


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