National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Small Worlds, Big Discoveries Banner

Comets can be one of the most amazing sights in the heavens, with bright, naked-eye comas and tails stretching across half the sky. The most spectacular comet appearances are called "great" comets, but such an occurrence is infrequent enough that it is also nicknamed a "comet of the century." In preparation for the Thanksgiving Day perihelion passage of comet ISON, along with its great possibilities, it's a proper time to examine the humble origins, from the most rural parts of the solar system, of these briefly blazing celestial visitors.

The speaker is Dr. Frank Summers of the Space Telescope Science Institute. The video was recorded at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, on 11 November 2013.

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
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
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA