Restoration of 1986 spacecraft images of Halley's Comet

These are the four closest-to-encounter images of the nucleus of P/Halley, taken by the Soviet Vega-1 spacecraft, from distances between 9300 and 9800 km (= about 20 times the distance of the closest approach of the Giotto spacecraft).  The near-encounter Vega-1 image sequence (64 frames) covers about 160 degrees viewing angle, which allowed the reconstruction of a 3-D model of the shape of the nucleus .

The original images were distorted by noise and were severely out of focus because the camera slid from the focal plane due to a loosened screw. Restoration of these once-in-a-lifetime treasures was a labor of love.

[Merényi, E. ,1996, "Processing of Near-Nucleus Vega Images." In Images of the Nucleus of Comet Halley, Eds. R. Reinhard and B. Battrick, ESA SP-1127, pp 53-60 and 85-230.]

[Merényi, E., Földy, L., Szegõ, K., Tóth, I., Kondor, A., 1990, the Landscape of Comet Halley, Icarus, 86, pp 9-20.]