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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Backward green comet makes one-time only visit

    WASHINGTON An odd, greenish backward-flying comet is zipping by Earth this month, as it takes its only trip toward the sun from the farthest edges of the solar system. The comet is called Lulin, and there's a chance it can be seen with the naked eye far from city lights, astronomers say.
    But you'll most likely need a telescope, or at least binoculars, to spot it.

    The best opportunity is just before dawn one-third of the way up the southern sky. It should be near Saturn and two bright stars, Spica and Regula.

    On Monday at 10:43 p.m. EST, it will be 38 million miles from Earth, the closest it will ever get, according to Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near Earth Object program.

    While all the planets and most of the other objects in the solar system circle the sun counterclockwise, Lulin circles clockwise, said NASA astronomer Stephen Edberg. And thanks to an optical illusion, from Earth it appears as if the comet's tail is in the front as the comet approaches Earth and the sun.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090217/ap_on_sc/sci_odd_comet

    On the Net:

    NASA on Comet Lulin: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/04feb_greencomet.htm



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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,083
    Thanks for the link, DK! Hope that we have a clear night for viewing. *Rummaging around for February issue of Astronomy*

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The South, USA
    Posts
    2,405
    Huh...I'll definitely look for it. Wonder if I can get the kids up that early?

    Mr. Mr. E and I saw a mysterious green light in the sky once, in the springtime about a year ago. It was just this green blob that seemed to fall toward the horizon, then disappear. It was weird. We never could figure out what it was.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    MD 'burbs of Washington DC
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    5,902
    DC weather has stopped me from doing early morning observations of Comet Lulin. BUT, www.spaceweather.com has an extensive Comet Lulin archive where a lot of astronomers have sent in their images... that is the extent of my observation of the comet, thus far. LoL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    MD 'burbs of Washington DC
    Posts
    5,902
    Oh, on todays front page of Spaceweather is a gif someone compiled of the comet moving along... pretty nifty watching some of the tail being ripped off by solar wind!



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