Deep In A Comet: Scientists See Signs Of Evaporating Ice Grains

July 29, 1997

Peering deep into the heart of comet Hyakutake, scientists have found evidence that small, evaporating ice particles in the tail and surrounding the nucleus of the comet are producing most of the water and other gases seen from Earth.

The discovery, reported in today's (Aug. 1) issue of the journal Science by a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomer Walter M. Harris, adds new and difficult-to-detect features to the anatomy of a comet, and helps portray how the nucleus of a comet survives many orbits about the sun without being wasted away by the effects of solar radiation.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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