These shots of the comet Leonard were captured by two NASA sun-seeing spacecraft., A kilometer-wide space of dust, rock and ice approaching the sun.
The image on the right was captured by the SECCHI / HI-2 telescope NASA Stereo-A LaboratoryHas been observing the comet since the beginning of November. To highlight the differences between them, the ‘difference picture’ was created by subtracting the current law from the previous law.
The contrast images are useful to see subtle changes in Leonard’s ion tail (the path of the ionized gases flowing from the comet’s body or nucleus), which become longer and brighter at the end of the clip.
On the other hand, the image on the left shows a cross of the comet Leonard from a video taken by the Solar Orbiter (SoloHI) heliospheric imager on the ESA / NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft between December 17 and 19, 2021. See with the Milky Way in the background.
Venus and Mercury are visible in the upper right, Venus appears brighter and moves from left to right. During this sequence, the solar orbiter moves in the side view of the comet, exposing its tail. NASA says SoloHI will continue to monitor the comet until it returns from view on December 22, 2021.
The comet was discovered by Leonard in January 2021 by Gregory Leonard, who saw it in photographs taken from the Mount Lemon Laboratory in Arizona. On January 3, 2022, its closest orbit will be within 90 million kilometers of the Sun) just over half the distance from Earth. If it does not decompose, its path will throw it into the galaxy and never return.