Once In A Lifetime Opportunity To View Green Comet


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Stargazers all over the world are in for a real treat for the next three days. A newly discovered comet, with a green tint is on track to visit our Solar System for the first and probably the last time.

Lulin, which was discovered in 2007 by a 19-year old student at China's Sun Yat-sen University, has been floating though our inner Solar System since January, and is already visible through powerful telescopes. However, tonight it is expected to get to the closest distance to Earth - a mere 38 million miles away, making it visible with just ordinary telescopes and even faintly visible with the naked eye.

The best viewing time is expected to be between midnight and 1.00pm when Lulin will be at its highest point in the sky. Of course, the best place to view it will in the countryside, away from bright city lights.

The comet gets its color from the diatomic carbon that glows green, when lit by sunlight. According to scientists, it should be a stunning sight, especially because while Lulin is traveling in the same plane as the Earth's orbit, it is going in the opposite direction. This will make it appear to be moving really fast and thanks to an optical effect created by the sun, look like it has a second tail that points toward the sun.

Comets are formed when ices in the Solar System combine with debris of dust particles left over from the formation of the outer Solar System. Newer comets like Lulin are particularly exciting to scientists, since they still have the ices they were originally made with - giving them some insight into the time when the solar system was formed, about 4.5 billion years ago.

However, don't fret if the weather in your area doesn't cooperate or you are unable to stay up that late - Space Agencies all over the world are keeping a close eye on Lulin and you can be assured of a lot of great pictures, quite similar to the ones above, which have been taken using sophisticated telescopes and cameras.

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