Monday, January 7, 2008

Comet 8P/Tuttle

here's a beautiful composite image of comet 8P/Tuttle passing very close in our sky to the triangulum galaxy, M33.

M33 is a popular spiral galaxy that lives relatively close to our milky way... somewhere around 3 million light years away. comet 8P/Tuttle is roughly 40 million kilometers (or 2 light-minutes) away. M33 looks blue due to the many regions where young stars are forming in the spiral arms. the comet looks green/teal due to its chemical composition.

on a clear night you might be able to see the comet from northern latitudes with your eye (although i havent had any luck from austin). binoculars or a small telescope should give a good view. while youre at it, try to find the still-bright comet holmes!

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