Comet forms

Comet forms

Fig. 14.10a . Three kinds of comet shapes. Comet Perrine (1902 III) shows a transparent coma and tail (Figure 14.10a), comet Finsler (1937 V) exhibits a coma and tail that are unsymmetrical (Figure 14.10b), and comet Morehouse (1908 III) is remarkable for the rapid variations in the structure of its tail (Figure 14.10c). When a telescope follows a comet, stars move across the field of view, producing numerous short star trails. [Courtesy of the Royal Observatory Greenwich (Figures 14.10a and 14.10c) and the Norman Lockyer Observatory (Figure 14.10b).]

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University