Spitzer Spies a Comet Coma and Tail

Spitzer_sig13-010a_500

spitzer_sig13-010a September 10th, 2013

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/DLR/NAU

With the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered that what was thought to be a large asteroid called Don Quixote is in fact a comet.

Don Quixote's coma and tail -- features of comets -- as revealed in infrared light by Spitzer. The coma appears as a faint glow around the center of the body, caused by dust and gas. The tail points towards the right-hand side of Don Quixote, into the direction opposite of the sun.

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/5656-sig13-010a-Spitzer-Spies-a-Comet-Coma-and-Tail

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Don Quixote
Subject - Solar System
Interplanetary Body » Comet

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_pseudocolor Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared 4.5 µm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_pseudocolor
Spitzer_sig13-010a_1280
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ID
sig13-010a
Subject Category
A.2.2  
Subject Name
Don Quixote
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/DLR/NAU
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Spitzer
Instrument
IRAC
Color Assignment
Pseudocolor
Band
Infrared
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
4500
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
sig13-010a.tif
Metadata Date
2016-03-09
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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There is no distance meta data in this image.