Machholz Meets the Pleiades

Sweeping northward in planet Earth’s sky, comet Machholz extended its long ion tail with the Pleiades star cluster in the background on January 7th, 2005. This stunning view, recorded with a telephoto lens in skies over Oberjoch, Bavaria, Germany, emphasizes faint, complex tail structures and the scene’s lovely blue and green colors. Merging with the blue dust-reflected starlight of the Pleiades, colors in the comet’s ion tail and greenish coma are produced as gas molecules fluoresce in sunlight. Reflecting the sunlight, dust from comet Machholz trails along the comet’s orbit and forms the whitish tail jutting down and toward the right. While the visible coma spans about 500,000 kilometers, the nucleus of the comet, likely only a few kilometers across, lies hidden within. Comet tails can extend many millions of kilometers from the nucleus, but appear substantially shortened because of perspective.


Credit: Stefan Seip

Machholz Meets the Pleiades

Sweeping northward in planet Earth’s sky, comet Machholz extended its long ion tail with the Pleiades star cluster in the background on January 7th, 2005. This stunning view, recorded with a telephoto lens in skies over Oberjoch, Bavaria, Germany, emphasizes faint, complex tail structures and the scene’s lovely blue and green colors. Merging with the blue dust-reflected starlight of the Pleiades, colors in the comet’s ion tail and greenish coma are produced as gas molecules fluoresce in sunlight. Reflecting the sunlight, dust from comet Machholz trails along the comet’s orbit and forms the whitish tail jutting down and toward the right. While the visible coma spans about 500,000 kilometers, the nucleus of the comet, likely only a few kilometers across, lies hidden within. Comet tails can extend many millions of kilometers from the nucleus, but appear substantially shortened because of perspective.

Credit: Stefan Seip


Posted 10 months ago with 418 notes
Tagged:comet MachholzAstronomystarscometspacesciencepleiades

  1. unicornuyoku reblogged this from b-a-m-b-i
  2. enabraer reblogged this from b-a-m-b-i
  3. mesumo reblogged this from comradeyifan
  4. comradeyifan reblogged this from b-a-m-b-i
  5. b-a-m-b-i reblogged this from future-dreamworld
  6. reblokha reblogged this from spaceplasma
  7. largely-laconic reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  8. pyonpyonusagi-chan reblogged this from vicoussquirrel
  9. p0ison1vy reblogged this from harri-teikkas-psych-out
  10. harri-teikkas-psych-out reblogged this from spaceplasma
  11. iwillalwayskeepyousafe reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  12. catsurbate reblogged this from sinaloan
  13. sumsnecessity reblogged this from sinaloan
  14. vicoussquirrel reblogged this from pachirisupaw
  15. golotusflower reblogged this from future-dreamworld
  16. thisunfamiliarplace reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  17. acid-constellation reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  18. helldal reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  19. nara-dreamland reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  20. samiyamurai reblogged this from megacosms
  21. plutoc reblogged this from megacosms
  22. lovelyuniversee reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  23. tropicshawty reblogged this from polymath4ever
  24. asymmetry-of-disorder reblogged this from megacosms
  25. je-mappelle-doc reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  26. krrrrm reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  27. theoneinthemirror reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  28. aeloreus reblogged this from leaf-inthewind