Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Comet Lulin Should Put on a Good Show

comet Lulin
comet Lulin (photo by Gregg Ruppel)
based on a news release of Universe Today

A new comet is swinging around the sun, it may be visible with the naked eye, certainly with binoculars or a small telescope. Comet Lulin is rather unusual with an orbit that moves in the opposite direction of the orbits of the planets. This makes it appear to move relatively quickly.

It may appear to move about 5 degrees a day across the sky. When viewed through lenses of any type it may actually appear to move against the background stars. On January 14, it was at perihelion, the closest to the sun. It will be at its closest to earth on February 24. In rural areas it should be visible with the naked eye, and will be observable low in the sky in an east-southeast direction before dawn.

Another unusual feature of Lulin is that it has both a tail and an anti-tail, which means that it will look like there is a line going all the way across the body of the comet.

See more pictures at Spaceweather
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

Go To for all the news
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