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Artwork of the Great Comet of 1882

Artwork of the Great Comet of 1882

V700/0070

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Great Comet of 1882. Artwork of the Great Comet of 1882 as seen from Streatham, London, England. This was the most impressive of the two major comets of that year, being visible for three days in full daylight. The comet's icy nucleus is nearest the horizon, with its tail of dust and gas stretching behind it. Photography and spectroscopy were used to show that its tail contained sodium, iron and carbon. The Doppler red-shift of its light showed that it was receding from Earth at 72 kilometres per second. It passed very close to the Sun, appearing to graze its surface. This drawing was made on 4 November 1882.

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