Friday, October 24, 2014

NASA ESA Hubble Telescope Photo of Mars with a Comet C/2103 A1

A NASA Hubble Space Telescope composite image shows the positions of comet Siding Spring and Mars as the comet streaked by the red planet, at 2:28 p.m. EDT on Oct. 19, 2014. 


The famed Hubble Space Telscope has captured a jaw-dropping view of a comet making an incredibly close flyby of Mars.

The space telescope snapped the amazing image when Comet Siding Spring (also called C/2013 A1) was hurtling through space near the Red Planet on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19.

During its closest approach on Oct. 19, the comet passed about 86,000 miles (138,000 kilometers) from Mars, just one-third of the distance between Earth and the moon.

Mars and the comet shine in Hubble's new image. The planet glows red, and Comet Siding Spring's bright nucleus and diffuse tail stand out against a host of background stars glimmering behind the two cosmic bodies.

The photo was created by combining separate images of the comet and Mars taken over the weekend.

"The Mars and comet images have been added together to create a single picture to illustrate the angular separation, or distance, between the comet and Mars at closest approach," NASA officials said in a statement.

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