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News Release Archive:

News Release 14 of 181

July 2, 2013 12:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2013-24

Comet ISON Brings Holiday Fireworks

A Hubble Heritage Release

July 2, 2013: This July 4th, the solar system is showing off some fireworks of its own. Superficially resembling a skyrocket, Comet ISON is hurtling toward the Sun at a whopping 48,000 miles per hour. Unlike a firework, the READ: Junior version of this article Amazing Space Learn about this story in the Star Witness, a science newspaper available on our sister site, Amazing Space.  comet is not combusting, but in fact is pretty cold. Its skyrocket-looking tail is really a streamer of gas and dust bleeding off the icy nucleus. The video shows a sequence of Hubble observations taken over a 43-minute span, compressed into just five seconds. The comet travels 34,000 miles during the exposure sequence.

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Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)