Nucleus of comet Wild 2

Nucleus of comet Wild 2

Fig. 14.17 . An image of the dark, cratered nucleus of comet Wild 2 taken from the Stardust spacecraft during its comet flyby on 2 January 2004. The nucleus is about 5 kilometers in diameter. This is a composite of a short exposure image showing surface details, and a long exposure image, taken just 10 seconds later, showing the active surface jetting dust and gas streams into space. During this flyby Stardust gathered comet dust and subsequently returned the comet sample to Earth. (Courtesy of NAS/JPL-Caltech.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University