From Hubble: “Hubble Catches Views of a Jet Rotating with Comet 252P/LINEAR”

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May 12, 2016

For thousands of years, humans have recorded sightings of mysterious comets sweeping across the nighttime skies. These celestial wanderers, “snowballs” of dust and ice, are swift-moving visitors from the cold depths of space. Some of them periodically visit the inner solar system during their journeys around the sun.

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured images of Comet 252P/LINEAR just after it swept by Earth on March 21.

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Credit: NASA, ESA, and J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute)
Release Date: May 12, 2016

Data Description: The image was created from Hubble data from proposal 14103: J.-Y. Li and N. Samarasinha (Planetary Science Institute), M. Kelley (University of Maryland), M. Mutchler (STScI), and D. Farnocchia (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).
Instrument: WFC3/UVIS
Exposure Date(s): April 4, 2016

The visit was one of the closest encounters between a comet and our planet. The comet traveled within 3.3 million miles of Earth…

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Swarm tracks Earth’s turbulent magnetic field 

blink-and-you-miss-it indeed!

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Earth's magnetosphere [image credit: SPL / BBC] Earth’s magnetosphere [image credit: SPL / BBC]
The BBC report by Jonathan Amos includes two ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ videos that offer a global view of the magnetic patterns. The three-year east-west oscillation sounds interesting.

Europe’s Swarm mission is providing an unprecedented view of Earth’s turbulent magnetic field, scientists say. The three-satellite constellation is now routinely mapping its convulsions, allowing researchers to probe the mechanisms that drive the “invisible shield” in remarkable new detail.

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