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Comet Arend-Roland, Belgian stamp commemoration

Comet Arend-Roland, Belgian stamp commemoration

C037/7992

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Credit

DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Comet Arend-Roland, Belgian stamp commemoration. This comet was discovered on 8 November 1956 (the date commemorated by the stamp) by Belgian astronomers Sylvain Arend and Georges Roland (at the Royal Observatory of Belgium). The comet reached perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 8 April 1957. It is also known as C/1956 R1 (Arend-Roland), Arend-Roland 1956h, and 1957 III. 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. The direction of the tail indicates the direction of the Sun.

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