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Comet C2014 Q2 and galaxy NGC 5907

Comet C2014 Q2 and galaxy NGC 5907

C028/7871

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Credit

DAMIAN PEACH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAMIAN PEACH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Comet C/2014 Q2 (green) and galaxy NGC 5907. The edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 5907 (the Splinter or Knife Edge galaxy) is some 40 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Draco. Comets are bodies of ice and dust that enter the inner solar system from the outer solar system. As they approach the Sun, the heat boils the ice, producing a coma around the nucleus, along with a tail stretching out behind it. This comet was discovered by Terry Lovejoy on 17 August 2014. It has an orbital period of many thousands of years. It reached perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 30 January 2015. This image was obtained on 4 August 2014.

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