Comet Images

Comet Wild-2

An image of comet Wild-2 (pronounced "vilt two") taken by Michael Brown using the 40 inch telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The image was taken through cloud on the evening of 1 April 1997 (no joke). NASA's Stardust mission will visit comet Wild-2 in 2004, collect dust from the coma and return to Earth.


An animation of Centaur object Chiron. Centaurs are a class of minor planets (asteroids and comets) which orbit between Jupiter and Neptune. This object is a distant comet that never gets closer to the Earth than the planet Saturn - a distance of 1.5 billion kilometres. Though this is brightest Centaur, it is 10,000 times fainter than the faintest star visible to the unaided eye.

Comet Wirtanen

An image of comet Wirtanen taken using the 40 inch telescope at Siding Spring Observatory by Michael Hicks and Michael Brown. The comet is the faint (R mag=19) star at the centre of the image. The image is a 400 second CCD integration taken at 16:48 UT on July 9 1996. Wirtanen is the target of the planned Rosetta spacecraft which will rendezvous with the comet early next century and drop the Champollion lander. This image appeared in the February 1997 issue of Sky and Space magazine.

29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

A reduced and trimmed image of comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 taken with the 40inch telescope at Siding Spring. The image was taken in spare time during a search for Kuiper belt objects by Michael Brown, Rachel Webster and Thomas Irving of the University of Melbourne. The pixel size is roughly 2.1".

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    This page created on: 22 September, 1997. Last updated: 22 September, 1997.
    Maintained by: Michael Brown,
    Authorised by R.Webster