PIA17485: Comet Halley

Comet Halley


In 1986, the European spacecraft Giotto became one of the first spacecraft ever to encounter and photograph the nucleus of a comet, passing and imaging Halley's nucleus as it receded from the sun. Data from Giotto's camera were used to generate this enhanced image of the potato shaped nucleus that measures roughly 15 km across. Some surface features on the dark

Every 76 years Comet Halley returns to the inner solar system and each time the nucleus sheds about a 6-m deep layer of its ice and rock into space. This debris shed from Halley's nucleus eventually disperses into an orbiting trail responsible for the Orionids meteor shower, in October of every year, and the Eta Aquarids meteor shower every May.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Comet 1P/Halley, Sun
System Periodic Comets
Target Type Comet Sun
Instrument Host
Host Type
Extra Keywords Color
Acquisition Date
Release Date 1986-03-14
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/ESA/Giotto Project
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17485
Identifier PIA17485