Get the best views of Comet Lulin now!
It's at its closest point to Earth right now, so watch it, catch it, view it now; that's what the astronomers are saying about the greenish backward-flying Comet Lulin.
According to the astronomers, the skywatchers can get the best views of the greenish, "two-tail" Comet Lulin over the next three nights. The green comet will not be visible from Earth for at least another 1,000 years.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Comet Lulin reached within the closest distance from Earth - within 38m miles of Earth - on Tuesday, Feb. 24. The Comet Lulin is now 38 million miles away from Earth.
According to Sky & Telescope Magazine, Comet Lulin can be viewed with binoculars or telescopes. The people in some rural areas, away from city lights, will be able to view it with the naked eye.
Comet Lulin looks green because of the gases that form its Jupiter-sized atmosphere. To view and locate the green comet, people should look to the east-southeast and spot Saturn and Regulus. It should be about halfway between Saturn and Regulus, at about 9 p. m. tonight.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that "the comet looks like a fuzzy patch of hazy light against the night sky when viewed with a naked eye". According to the paper, "the comet, with brighter center, has a dual tail - a brighter tail of dust, and a dimmer one of ionized gases the comet sheds as its sun-warmed ices change directly from a solid to a gas".
Comet Lulin was discovered by a Chinese student named Quanzhi Ye, on the images taken by Taiwanese astronomer Chi Sheng Lin with a 16-inch telescope at Lulin Observatory in Taiwan on July 11, 2007. According to Sky & Telescope Magazine, the comet has been dubbed as 'Comet of Cooperation' in China and Taiwan.
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