Artist’s animation of the heavy metal composition of a cometary atmosphere

This video starts by showing an animation of comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS), which was done using real images taken by the SPECULOOS telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. The video then zooms in on a blue comet. In a new study done with the UVES instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, a team has spotted heavy metal atoms in the inner atmosphere of the comet, a discovery illustrated at the end of the video. There we see the spectrum of the comet and in particular the iron (Fe, blue) and nickel (Ni, orange) lines, marking the presence of the two elements in the atmosphere of the comet.


ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser, SPECULOOS Team/E. Jehin, Manfroid et al.

About the Video

Release date:19 May 2021, 17:00
Related releases:eso2108
Duration:24 s
Frame rate:25 fps

About the Object

Name:C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
Category:Solar System



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