An image of Halley's Comet taken in 1986.
This photograph of Halley's Comet was taken January 13,1986, by James W. Young, resident astronomer of JPL's Table Mountain Observatory in the San Bernardino Mountains, using the 24-inch reflective telescope.
Streaks caused by the exposure time are stars in the constellation Aquarius. Visible in the photo are the coma of gases and about 725,000 kilometers (450,000 miles) of the charged ion tail.
Halley's Comet as photographed May 13, 1910, by a wide-angle camera at Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Ariz., during the comet's last appearance. A streak across the comet near the coma is a meteor trail, and not a scratch on the negative. Streaks at the bottom right are the city lights of Flagstaff Bright spot above the city lights is the planet Venus.
This view of comet Halley's nucleus was obtained by the Halley Multicolour Camera (HMC) on board the Giotto spacecraft, as it passed within 600 km of the comet nucleus on March 13, 1986.
The Giotto space probe, launched in 1985 on an Ariane 1 V14 launcher, brushed past the hidden nucleus of Halley's comet in 1986.
Giotto approaching the nucleus of Halley's Comet at 68km/s, protected by its white dust shield.
These two views show the position of Halley's comet and six planets on Jan. 7, 1984. At that time, Halley was about 800 million miles from the sun, traveling at an 18-degree tilt with respect to the plane of the solar system.
These images show Comet Halley as it was photographed on various dates in 1910 from Diamond Head, Hawaii, by Ferdinand Ellerman. The points or short streaks are background stars.
These two photographs of Comet Halley were obtained the night of Nov. 14, 1985, by JPL astronomer Eleanor Helin. Halley was about 105 million kilometers (65 million miles) from Earth and traveling about 33 kilometers per second (74,000 mph) with respect to our planet.
'The Adoration of the Magi' is a scene in a fresco cycle decorating the interior of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. The fresco was painted by the Florentine master Giotto di Bondone, probably in 1303 and 1304. Halley's Comet had appeared in 1301, and inspired the artist to depict the Star of Bethlehem as a fiery comet.
When the European Space Agency elected to send a spacecraft to encounter the comet, the spacecraft was named after the artist. Reproduction of the painting is by the courtesy of the Comune di Padova.
The detailed tail photograph of Halley's Comet was obtained by Jet Propulsion Laboratory astronomer Eleanor Helin with the 48-inch Schmidt telescope at Caltech's Palomar Observatory on Dec. 13, 1985.
This photo of Halley's comet was taken by the Russian Vega 2 spacecraft, one of two Soviet probes (Vega 1 was the other) to rendezvous with the comet during its 1986 trip through the solar system in March 1986. The closest approach of Vega 1 to Halley was 8890 km while Vega 2 had a close encounter at 8030 km.
Halley's Comet as photographed May 8, 1910, by Dr. G.W. Ritchey using the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory, Calif., during the comet's last appearance. The head of the comet and the beginning of its long tail are shown. Short, straight streaks are background stars.
This NASA graphic shows where to look in the constellation Aquarius for the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, which is made of the remains from Halley's Comet. Full May 2010 viewing info.
This image is composed of 68 images of varying resolution. The data at the brightest point on the nucleus is at the highest resolution (50 m).
The Sun comes from 30 deg above the horizontal to the left and is 17 deg behind the image plane (observation phase angle of 107 deg). The night side of the nucleus can be seen silhouetted against a background of bright dust in the far-field. Jets can be seen originating from two regions on the nucleus. Structure can be seen within the jets.
A bright area is seen within the night side of the nucleus. We believe this to be a hill or mountain approximately 500 m high.