A NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, taken on May 17, 1994, with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) in wide field mode.
When the comet was observed, its train of 21 icy fragments stretched across 710 thousand miles (1.1 million km) of space, or 3 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. This required 6 WFPC exposures spaced along the comet train to include all the nuclei. The image was taken in red light.
The comet was approximately 410 million miles (660 million km) from Earth when the picture was taken, on a mid4uly collision course with the gas giant planet Jupiter.
Object Name: Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9
Image Type: Astronomical
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