Tempel-Tuttle: The Leonid Comet
Date: 26 Jan 1998
Star trails streak this composite-time exposure of comet Tempel-Tuttle recorded by Tim Puckett on 26 January 1998. Then passing through the inner solar system on its 33 year orbit around the sun, Tempel-Tuttle brightened unexpectedly, but binoculars or small telescopes were still required to visually observe it.
Tempel-Tuttle is also called "the Leonid Comet" as the yearly Leonid meteor shower results when the Earth crosses this comet's orbital plane and encounters a trail of cometary dust. So, while not rivaling spectacular naked-eye comets like Hyakutake or Hale-Bopp, Tempel-Tuttle still puts on a good show.
Copyright: T. Puckett (Puckett Observatory)
Credit: Astronomy Picture of the Day