The long ion tail of comet Wilson

The long ion tail of Comet Wilson. This photo of Comet Wilson was obtained with the ESO 1m Schmidt telescope on March 28, 1987, three weeks before its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion). It shows the development of a long, weak ion tail, consisting of ionized atoms and molecules which are pushed away from the coma (comet head) by action of the solar wind. This straight ion tail measures about 3 degrees, corresponding to about 11 million km (projected) and points towards southwest. Note also the streamers near the coma. A short, stubby dust tail is seen towards north (to the left in this picture).



About the Image

Release date:14 May 1987
Related releases:eso8707
Size:1374 x 1773 px

About the Object

Name:Comet Wilson
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
Category:Solar System

Image Formats

Large JPEG
395.4 KB
Screensize JPEG
229.8 KB

Colours & filters

OpticalESO 1-metre Schmidt telescope


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