30.3 MB (2.8 MB compressed)
3481 x 3046 pixels
29.5 x 25.9 cm ⏐ 11.6 x 10.2 in (300dpi)
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Comet of 1652. Illustration from Cometographia (1668), by the Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius, showing the position of the comet of 1652 on the 26th December. The comet was in Orion when Hevelius first observed it on 20th December. He described the nucleus as being round and of small luminosity. Helvelius last observed this comet on 10th January 1653. Comets are bodies of rock and ice that orbit the Sun on elongated orbits lasting hundreds or thousands of years. When they pass into the inner solar system, the Sun heats them up and the ice melts, creating long tails of ice and dust that glow in the light from the Sun.
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