Download Image

About the Image

About the Object

Color Mapping

09.10.13

Spitzer Spies a Comet Coma and Tail

With the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered that what was thought to be a large asteroid called Don Quixote is in fact a comet.

This image represents a more elaborate image processing step, in which the glow of the coma has been removed based on a model comet coma. Bright speckles around Don Quixote are background stars; the horizontal bar covers image artifacts caused by the image processing.