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Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula)

A meteor, a comet, and a photogenic nebula have all been captured in this single image. Den nærmeste og mest…

A meteor, a comet, and a photogenic nebula have all been captured in this single image. Den nærmeste og mest flyktige er den streaking meteor på den øverste højre – det var synlig for mindre enn et sekund. The meteor, which was disintegrated in Earth’s atmosphere, was probably a little bit of debris from the nucleus of Comet 21P / Giacobini-Zinner, coincidentally the comet captured in the same image. Comet 21P, pictured across the inner Solar System from Earth, is distinctive for its long dust tail spread horizontally across the image center.

This comet has been visible with binoculars for the past few months but is now fading as it heads back out to the orbit of Jupiter. Farthest out at 3,500 light years distant is the IC 21

77, the Seagull Nebula, visible on the left. The comparatively fixed Seagull Nebula, with a wingspan on order 250 light-years, will probably remain visible for hundreds of thousands of years. Long exposures, taken about two weeks ago from Iwaki City in Japan, were combined to capture the image’s faintest elements.

Image Credit & Copyright: Takao Sambommatsu

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