Hey Space Placers!
Enjoy this great view of Comet Siding Spring as seen by Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and released by NASA on 3/27/14:
NASA is VERY interested in this comet as on 10/109/14 it will pass only 84,000 miles from Mars! Man, that is CLOSE!
NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have spacecraft orbiting Mars and there is concern that the dust and ice particles coming off of the comet could impact, literally, them.
The pictures above show the comet as first seen on the left and then after processing on the right designed to try and see details in the coma or gaseous envelope that surrounds the nucleus or solid core of the comet. The processed image shows two jets coming off of the nucleus which will allow for tracking to determine a great deal about the nucleus.
Stay tuned as Comet Siding Spring gets closer and closer to Mars!
Sky Guy in Finally Sunny VA