Astronomy Picture of the Day



Comet Meets Ring Nebula: Part II

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#86857 by @ 13.05.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Comet Meets Ring Nebula: Part II


Explanation:

Moving rapidly through planet Earth's night sky, Fragment C of
crumbling comet
73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3
passed almost directly in front of
M57 -
the Ring Nebula, and faint spiral galaxy
IC 1296
on May 8.

In fact, in this gorgeous view,
the bright head of Fragment C is separated by only about 0.1 degrees
from M57, with the tail apparently engulfing nebula and galaxy.

Recorded from Elizabeth, Illinois, USA, this picture
corresponds to the cosmic scene only 30 minutes after
yesterday's picture
of the approaching alignment.

The relative
motion
of the comet
against the background stars
and nebulae is easy to see when comparing the two images.

This comet's fragments
will be near their closest approach in the coming days,
about 10 million kilometers away, and
none pose any danger
to our fair planet.




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