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Sure, any rock could look this good with the right backlighting.
But to be fair, this is no rock. Its the central nugget -- or nucleus -- of comet Wild 2, as captured by NASAs Stardust. The spacecraft was lofted into space in 1997 and glided through the comets coma -- the dust and gas cloud surrounding the nucleus -- earlier this year.
And to be honest, the touchups dont end with the lighting. This is actually a composite of two images recorded by Stardusts navigation camera during its January 2nd, 2004 flyby near the comet. A short exposure showed surface pocks and craters. A longer exposure, taken 10 seconds later, revealed material streaming from the surface.
The pits and craters are scars of billions of years of interplanetary travel. That has meant countless strikes by meteors and erosion from gasses that spew from the comet as it nears the sun during every orbit. The nucleus shown here is only about five kilometers wide, but the jets of dust and gas trail behind for millions of kilometers more.