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Comet Wild 2: Jet Release
03.18.04
composite image of comet Wild 2

This composite image was taken by the navigation camera during the close approach phase of Stardust's Jan 2, 2004, flyby of comet Wild 2. Several large depressed regions can be seen. Comet Wild 2 is about five kilometers (3.1 miles) in diameter. To create this image, a short exposure image showing tremendous surface detail was overlain on a long exposure image taken just 10 seconds later showing jets. Together, the images show an intensely active surface, jetting dust and gas streams into space and leaving a trail millions of kilometers long.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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