Bruce Murray Space Image Library

MESSENGER observes comet 2P/Encke

MESSENGER observes comet 2P/Encke
MESSENGER observes comet 2P/Encke MESSENGER observed comet Encke from its unique perspective in November and December 2013. On November 17, 2013, 2P/Encke made its closest approach to Mercury, about 3.7 million kilometers) from MESSENGER and 52.6 million kilometers from the Sun. The image has been smoothed to enhance the faint tail of the comet. The tail was oriented nearly side on to MESSENGER in this image and is seen to stretch several degrees from the comet's bright coma in the direction away from the Sun. NASA / JHUAPL / CIW

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