The Break-up of Comet LINEAR

This photograph shows the three nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2), but in a false-colour rendering for more clarity. The cometary fragment "B" (right) has split into "B1" and "B2" (separation about 1 arcsec, or 500 km) while fragment "A" (upper left) is considerably fainter.

Technical information: this image is based on a 1-min exposure on May 16, 2001 at 23:10 hrs UT through an R-filtre with the VLT Test Camera at the Cassegrain focus (under the main mirror) of the 8.2-m VLT YEPUN (UT4) telescope on Paranal. Although the comet was low in the western sky, the atmospheric conditions were good and the seeing was excellent, 0.6 arcsec. The telescope was set to follow the motion of the comet in the sky. The fields shown measure 17 x 18 arcsec 2 and 27 x 21 arcsec 2, respectively; 1 pixel = 0.0455 arcsec. North is up and East is left.

Credit:

ESO

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About the Image

Id:eso0119b
Type:Observation
Release date:18 May 2001
Related releases:eso0119
Size:785 x 622 px

About the Object

Name:C/2001 A2 (LINEAR)
Type:• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet : Nucleus
• X - Solar System

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