Spitzer Spies a Comet Coma and Tail
Sig13 010b

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/DLR/NAU

Observation • September 10th, 2013 • sig13-010b

sig13-010b

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.

About the Object

Name
Don Quixote
Type
Interplanetary Body > Comet

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 4.5 ┬Ám Spitzer IRAC