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Comet Linear - Windows to the Universe

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This image shows Comet Linear brightening when it blew off part of its crust. Clicking on this image will show you the Hubble Space Telescope's chronicle of the outburst.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, and H. Weaver at Johns Hopkins University

Comet Linear

Astronomers discovered a new comet on September, 27 1999. Its name is Comet Linear. If you found a comet, what would you name it?

Scientists aren't sure if Comet Linear has ever been to our solar system before and they are not sure if it'll ever return. If the comet does return, it may be millions of years from now!

Something exciting happened while the Hubble Space Telescope was tracking the comet. Comet Linear blew off a piece of its crust. That explosion really brightened things up! You can see the pictures the Hubble Telescope took just to the left.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF