Artist's impression of the unique rocky comet C/2014 S3 (PANSTARRS)

Artist's impression of the unique object C/2014 S3 (PANSTARRS). Observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and the Canada France Hawai`i Telescope, show that this is the first object to be discovered that is on a long-period cometary orbit, but that has the characteristics of a pristine inner Solar System asteroid. It may provide important clues about how the Solar System formed.

Because the object has spent most of its life away from the inner Solar System it suffered very few collisions, and its surface displays few or no craters. As it formed in the same region as the Earth did, it is mostly rocky, and therefore has only very limited cometary activity.

Credit:

ESO/M. Kornmesser

About the Image

Id:eso1614a
Type:Artwork
Release date:29 April 2016, 20:00
Related releases:eso1614
Size:8853 x 6000 px

About the Object

Name:C/2014 S3
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
Category:Illustrations
Solar System

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