Infrared Sequence of a Comet and Distant Galaxy

Wise_wise2014-0703b_1024

wise_WISE2014-0703b July 3rd, 2014

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's NEOWISE mission captured this series of pictures of comet C/2012 K1 -- also known as comet Pan-STARRS -- as it swept across our skies on May 20, 2014. The comet is relatively close to us -- it was only about 143 million miles (230 million kilometers) from Earth when this picture was taken. It is seen passing a much more distant spiral galaxy, called NGC 3726, which is about 55 million light-years from Earth, or 2 trillion times farther away than the comet.

This multiple exposure shows the comet's progression through the solar system during a period of just over 14 hours, as seen projected against the background stars and galaxies.

The image was made from data collected by the two infrared channels onboard the NEOWISE spacecraft, with the longer-wavelength channel (centered at 4.5 microns) mapped to red and the shorter-wavelength channel (3.4 microns) mapped to cyan.

Provider: Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

Image Source: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4206

Curator: Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Berkeley, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: Public Domain

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Pan-STARRS C/2012 K1 NGC 3726
Subject - Solar System
Interplanetary Body > Comet
Galaxy > Type > Spiral

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Cyan WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 3.4 µm
Orange WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 4.6 µm
Spectrum_base
Cyan
Orange
Wise_wise2014-0703b_1280
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ID
WISE2014-0703b
Subject Category
A.2.2   C.5.1.1  
Subject Name
Pan-STARRS, C/2012 K1, NGC 3726
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Release Date
2014-07-03
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4206
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
WISE, WISE
Instrument
Color Assignment
Cyan, Orange
Band
Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR
Central Wavelength
3400, 4600
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)
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
URL
http://wise.astro.ucla.edu
Name
Email
outreach@ssl.berkeley.edu
Telephone
Address
7 Gauss Way
City
Berkeley
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
94720
Country
USA
Rights
Public Domain
Publisher
Publisher ID
wise
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/wise/WISE2014-0703b
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2015-05-21T21:16:40Z
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.