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Enhanced Hubble Image of Comet ISON (hs-2013-14-b-full) | by NASA HQ PHOTO
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Enhanced Hubble Image of Comet ISON (hs-2013-14-b-full)

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) was photographed on April 10, when the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter's orbit at a distance of 386 million miles from the Sun (394 million miles from Earth).


This is a contrast-enhanced image produced from the Hubble images of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) to reveal the subtle structure in the inner coma of the comet. In this computer-processed view, the Hubble image has been divided by a computer model coma that decreases in brightness proportionally to the distance from the nucleus, as expected for a comet that is producing dust uniformly over its surface. ISON's coma shows enhanced dust particle release on the sunward-facing side of the comet's nucleus, the small, solid body at the core of the comet. This information is invaluable for determining the comet's shape, evolution, and spin of the solid nucleus. Photo Credit: (NASA/ESA,/J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute), and the Hubble Comet ISON Imaging Science Team)


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Taken on April 19, 2013