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Wow! Striking Green Comet Suddenly Visible in Evening Sky

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posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 03:21 PM
Wanted to give a heads up to all you star gazers.

( had been a modest comet seen only with binoculars or telescopes flared up this week to become visible to the naked eye

Comet Swan, as it is called, is in the western sky after sunset from the Northern Hemisphere. It remains faint, likely not easy to find under bright city lights but pretty simple to spot from the countryside.

It is a "fairly easy naked-eye comet," said Pete Lawrence, who photographed the comet from the UK. "The tail is now showing some interesting features too."

The comet, also catalogued as C/2006 M4, is about halfway up in the sky in the direction of the constellation Corona Borealis

Sam Storch, a long-time sky watcher from Long Island, NY, said the comet appears "quite a bit deeper than any other green I have seen in any sky object, even planetary nebulae."

[edit on 26-10-2006 by Black_Fox]

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 03:26 PM
Thanks for the tip - I'll look for it tonight.
I have a nice Meade 12" Schmiddt-Cassegrain scope and a decent imager.
I'll post pics tomorrow if succesful.

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 05:56 PM

its been visible for like a month now...

posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 07:48 PM
I was able to get a good look at comet swan last week at a star party. I could not make out the tail to well because it was low to the horizon, but still was a sight to see. It is as close as it is going to get to us right now, which is 0.997 AU, or the same distance away as the Sun.

Very cool.

posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 02:30 PM
Nice view through 10 power binoculars last nigh.
The atmosphere was even a little dusty, and it was still seeable.
I could just barely recognize the tail..

Darkbkuesky, any pics for us? Love to see 'em.

posted on Oct, 28 2006 @ 12:45 PM
Here is a great picture of Comet Swan, which I found because it was the Astonomy Picture of the Day, which I use in my signature.

posted on Oct, 28 2006 @ 01:02 PM
Thanks Hal, great picture!

My question is what would cause a dormant comet suddenly flare up? Internal pressure? Impact with another something? The spirit of Halloween?

posted on Oct, 28 2006 @ 02:36 PM
Heat from the sun and gravitational pull of the sun pull at the innards of the comet which causes friction and heat inside the comet. This causes ice to melt and some turns to gas and it is expelled similar to a geyser spraying into space.

Since comets are small bodies they do not have enough gravity to pull the geyser material, gas and particles back to its surface so it spreads out into space where it experiences more heat and friction so it ignites and causes light. This light illuminates the rest of the material that is being sprayed into space and you have a "flare up" as you put it.

posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 04:06 AM
An "outburst" occurs when a new area on the surface of the nucleus becomes active. Comets are generally rather fragile objects, and they tend to fragment and break apart over time. When this happens, fresh ices are exposed to the Sun, and these ices start sublimating (changing from a solid directly to a gas). The overall result is an increase in brightness, because there is more material in the coma to reflect sunlight.

On a side note, I still haven't seen this comet. I became aware of the "outburst" the day after it had occurred (when the skies were clear), and since then it has been cloudy

[edit on 30-10-2006 by Mogget]

[edit on 30-10-2006 by Mogget]

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 04:23 AM
I finally managed to see the comet last night. Unfortunately, this "outburst" must have been short lived, because I saw nothing more than a very faint smudge of light through binoculars.

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