DAVID A. HARDY, COURTESY PPARC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY, COURTESY PPARC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ulysses probe and Comet Hyakutake. Artwork of the Ulysses probe near the tail (white) of the Comet Hyakutake. On 1st May 1996 the tail was blown into the probe's path by the wind emanating from the Sun (orange). Instruments on board Ulysses showed that the tail, at 570 million kilometres, is the longest ever measured. Hyakutake passed close to the Earth in March and April 1996, during which time it was visible to the naked eye. Ulysses was launched in 1990 to study the Sun and its solar wind outside the ecliptic plane of the planetary orbits. It is a joint mission of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA.
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