National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Multimedia
Comet Trail and Tail
Comet Trail and Tail (click to enlarge)
 
 

Comet Trail and Tail

This is an artist's concept of a comet dust trail and dust tail. The trail can only be seen in the light of radiated heat. The dust trail is made of particles that are the size of sand grains and pebbles. They are large enough that they are not affected much by the Sun's light and solar wind. The dust tail, on the other hand, is made of grains the size of cigarette-smoke particles. These grains are blown out of the dust coma near the comet nucleus by the Sun's light.

Image Credit: K. Jobse, P. Jenniskens and NASA Ames Research Center

Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute



Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 20 Jan 2011