Arizona Comet

By: Laurie Larson


Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona, USA

April 1997


Comments: 1

The Great Comet of 1997 shines above a landmark in Arizona. As noted by the photographer "Comet Hale-Bopp like most comets is composed of ice, dust and gas. It has two tails. The beautiful blue tail is composed of ionized gases. The blue color comes from florescence, (which is the light given off when ionized molecules recombine with electrons). The white one is a dust tail. The tails are shaped by the solar wind. When this photograph was taken, the length of the tail was 55 million miles, the nucleus of the comet measured 25 miles. The cometís closest approach to Earth was 122 million miles. By contrast, the Perseus Double Cluster is 7000 light years from Earth. This photograph was taken in Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona over Bell Rock, with Courthouse Rock to the right." Laurie Larson

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