The black heart of Comet Halley

The black heart of Comet Halley

. The coal-black nucleus of Comet Halley is a dirty ball of ice, about the size of Paris or Manhattan. It is silhouetted against bright jets of water and dust that stream sunward (upper right) from at least three places that have been warmed by the Sun's radiation. In this projection, the nucleus measures 14.9 thousand meters by 8.2 thousand meters. This is a composite of images taken by the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Giotto spacecraft near its encounter with the nucleus of Comet Halley on 14 March 1986. (Courtesy of ESA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University