Copyright: H.A. Weaver (Applied Research Corp.), P.D. Feldman (The Johns Hopkins University), and NASA
These Hubble Space Telescope pictures of comet Hale-Bopp show a remarkable "pinwheel" pattern and a blob of free-flying debris near the nucleus. The bright clump of light along the spiral (above the nucleus, which is near the center of the frame) may be a piece of the comet's icy crust that was ejected into space by a combination of ice
evaporation and the comet's rotation, and which then disintegrated into a bright cloud of particles.
Last Update: 1 September 2019