Hubble keeps an eye on Comet ISON

As Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) continues its trek toward the inner solar system, NASA and various professional observatories having been periodically observing it. The most recent images come from the Hubble Space Telescope, which captured Comet ISON on May 8 as the solar system interloper was 403 million miles (649 million kilometers) from Earth, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Scientists made a time-lapse movie of the images, which are false-color, visible light photos taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3. It shows a sequence taken over a 43-minute span compressed into just five minutes. The comet, which is moving at some 48,000 mph (77,000 km/h), travels 34,000 miles (55,000km) in this brief video.

Expect much more from Comet ISON in the months ahead, and find everything you need to know about what could be the comet of the century at www.Astronomy.com/ISON.

Credit: NASA/ESA/The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

This article originally appeared on Astronomy.com and is reprinted here with permission from Kalmbach Publishing.