Category Archives: Comets

See Comet Lovejoy While You Can

This is Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). Like many comets, it has a bright green color due to the fluorescence of diatomic carbon molecules in its tail, broken off from its surface. And most notably, Comet Lovejoy is visible to the … Continue reading

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Watch Comet ISON skim the Sun tomorrow

On Thanksgiving Day, the much-anticipated perihelion passage of Comet ISON will occur, and astronomers around the world will be watching. NASA is turning its fleet of Sun-observing spacecraft to watch as ISON plunges toward a fiery date with death or … Continue reading

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Two naked-eye comets in the northern skies

The northern hemisphere has been drawing the short straw when it comes to comets for the last few years. The last few really bright comets have all been in the southern sky. But that streak finally appears to be ending, … Continue reading

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Comet ISON update

The Hubble Space Telescope has taken new images of Comet ISON, a sungrazing comet that, it is hoped, will become the brightest comet in living memory this December. The video above is probably the best look we’ll get at ISON … Continue reading

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In the sky: Comet PanSTARRS is here

The first bright comet of 2013 is entering the northern skies this weekend. Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) will be brightest for the next three days or so, rivaling the stars of the Big Dipper. The exact position in the sky … Continue reading

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First look at Comet PanSTARRS

2013 could be a banner year for comets, with not one, not two, but three of them being visible to the naked eye. Two are already visible in the Southern Hemisphere, as seen in the video, and they’ll be coming … Continue reading

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Comet watch

This is Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), currently out past the orbit of Jupiter. Believe it or not, all of those letters and numbers actually mean something. The C/ means that it is a long-period comet, originating in the very distant … Continue reading

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