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Detachment Event - Halley's Comet

Target Name:  Comet Halley
Produced by:  NASA/JPL
Copyright: NASA Copyright Free Policy
Date Released: April 12, 1986

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One of the more spectacular changes recorded for Halley during an apparition was the detachment event that occurred on April 12, 1986. This 3 minute exposure was taken using the Michigan Schmidt telescope at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory. The resulting image clearly shows part of the ion tail structure detached from the comet. At this period, the orientation of the comet is such that the tail is foreshortened, with the prolonged radius vector pointing west of north.

Copyright © 1995-2013 by Calvin J. Hamilton. All rights reserved.