Comet Siding Spring

Comet Siding Spring
Comet Siding Spring This two-image blink shows a comparison of two exposure times in images Opportunity took with her Panoramic Camera (Pancam) showing Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it flew near Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. The images were taken about two-and-a-half hours before the closest approach of the comet's nucleus to Mars, with exposure durations of 50 seconds and 10 seconds. The sky was still relatively dark, before Martian dawn, but at the time of closest approach the morning sky was too bright for the rover to see the comet. The images in this ‘blink’ have been processed and detector artifacts and slight twilight glow have been removed. [The duration of the exposure resulted in a 2.5-pixel smear from rotation of Mars.] NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell / ASU / TAMU

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