This is one of the latest images of comet Hale-Bopp. Notice the intense tail
Click on image for full size
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
Comet Hale-Bopp was one of the brightest comets of all time. Astronomers witnessed the
comet spew out intermittent bursts of dust. The surface seemed to be an incredibly dynamic place, with 'vents' being turned on and off.
The nucleus structure itself is more complex than astronomers had thought before. In addition, the nucleus is tremendously large. Astronomers have estimated
Hale-Bopp's nucleus to be 19-25 miles (30-40 kilometers) in diameter. Comets
are thought to have a nucleus of about 3 miles (5 kilometers) on average.
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