Join Donate

The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Comet Siding Spring from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM

Comet Siding Spring from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM

Click to view full image

NASA / JPL / JHUAPL

Comet Siding Spring from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM
CRISM acquired the first image (left) at 18:16 UTC, just prior to the comet's closest approach to Mars at 18:27. The second image was taken 37 minutes later. The comet -- traveling at 55 kilometers per second -- had traversed one-third of the way across the Martian sky between those imaging times. The scale of the left image is approximately four kilometers per pixel; for the right image, it is about five kilometers per pixel. The images show the inner part of the cloud of dust, called the coma, that is generated around the nucleus by the warmth of the sun. The solid nucleus itself is not resolved. CRISM observed 107 different wavelengths of light in each pixel. Here, only three colors are shown.

The three colors represent the amount of signal in three regions of the visible and near-infrared spectrum. For each pixel, the median of 850-980 nanometers is displayed as red, 720-850 nanometers as green, and 500-630 nanometers as blue.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about October 19, 2014

Explore related images: pretty pictures, comets, astronomy by planetary missions, comet Siding Spring, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Comments & Sharing
More Images
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan
Pretty Pictures

Support the Bruce Murray Space Image Library and help us share the wonders of other worlds.

Donate