HST images of comet Hyakutake. The sun is toward the upper right, the comet tail is visible to the lower left. If you have a good image display you can see several interesting things. First, there are two pieces of the nucleus that have broken off and are moving down the tail that can be faintly seen about halfway down. Next, you can see several distinct jets coming from the surface of the comet. The comet is turning counter-clockwise and you can see the jets bend like water from a lawn sprinkler. Notice that the jets are all on the sunward side of the comet: the sun heats the cometary nucleus which causes the jets to shoot out.
This image was obtained by Combi, Brown, Feldman, Meier, Smith, and Smyth as part of a program to study the evaporation of water from the surface of the comet.
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