VLT Quick Views of Spacecraft Targets

The first picture (ESO Press Photo eso9835a) is a composite of seven 2-minute exposures of Comet Wild 2, obtained through a red filter with the VLT Test Camera in the early morning of July 25, 1998. The observations were made during rather windy conditions, about 15 m/sec, whereby substantial, variable pressure was exerted on the upper part of the telescope structure. Still, the guiding worked very well and the resulting image shows the fine structure of the comet's "coma" of dust that has been released from the two-kilometre "dirty snowball" nucleus. In this combined image, the stars in the field are seen seven times each, reflecting the motion of the comet in the sky.

This is a combination of seven 2-min R (red) exposures with the VLT Test Camera on July 25, 1998. The individual frames were flat-fielded, shifted in order to center the comet and then combined. The field shown measures 1.3 x 1.3 arcmin. North is up; East is to the left.

Credit:

ESO

About the Image

Id:eso9835a
Type:Observation
Release date:31 July 1998
Related releases:eso9835
Size:2868 x 2708 px

About the Object

Name:Comet Wild 2
Type:• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
• X - Solar System

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Very Large Telescope

 

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