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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default For stargazers

    Comet Lulin to be visible from NZ this month
    New 11:50AM Monday Feb 09, 2009

    Astronomers are keeping their eyes glued to the sky as a new comet gets set to streak past New Zealand this month.

    Comet Lulin is set to pass within 61.3 million kilometres of Earth on February 24, when it is hoped to become visible to the naked eye.

    The comet is currently at magnitude seven, which allows a reasonable sized telescope to spot it.

    However, stargazers are hoping the comet might reach magnitude four, which would make it possible to spot with the naked eye.

    In 2007, Comet McNaught outperformed even the most optimistic predictions by lighting up the skies above Auckland, while the approach of Halley's Comet in 1986 was not as bright as most astronomers had expected.

    "There is just no knowing for sure exactly how bright Comet Lulin will get - comets are notoriously unpredictable," research astronomer at Auckland's Stardome Observatory Grant Christie said.

    "But we are keeping an eye out each clear night and will be documenting its path in case it does flare up and become a spectacle."

    From here.
    Mother Bear

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    selchie's Avatar
    selchie is offline All Knowing Deity
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    This is the green comet, non? I hope we get some clear nights soon, so I can look for it.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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