Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Another Tail for Comet Garradd
Posted on 03/03/2012 1:33:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Remarkable comet Garradd (C2009/P1) has come to be known for two distinctive tails. From the perspective of earthbound comet watchers the tails are visible on opposite sides of its greenish coma. Seen here in a telescopic view, the recognizable dust tail fans out to the right, trailing the comet nucleus in its orbit. Streaming away from the sunward direction, a familiar bluish ion tail sweeps to the left. But the comet also seems to have, at least temporarily, sprouted a second ion tail recorded in this image from February 24. Other comet imagers have recently captured changing structures in Garradd's ion tail created as the plasma is buffeted by the magnetic fields in the solar wind. Now moving more quickly through northern skies, on March 5th comet Garradd will reach its closest approach to planet Earth, about 10.5 light-minutes distant.
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[Credit & Copyright: Olivier Sedan (Sirene Observatory)]
Will it be visible to the naked eye? That’s the kind of comets I like.
Only as a small dot, if that. At its closest it will still be further away from us than the Sun is.
Thank you. Hopes dashed again.
But will it be naked to the visible eye? That's the kind of comets I like even more... LOL
Like that classic novel, “A Sighting of Two Tails.”
Ditto! I recall those two comets back during the 90s. They were among the most beautiful things I've ever seen in nature. I've been longing for when we'll be able to see another one. Amazing how we had those just a couple of years apart, and we might not see another during our lifetimes.
Its closest approach to Earth is 10.5 light minutes? That’s 2.5 light minutes farther away than the sun.
Nice catch! :’)
People on my street were going out at night to see it and some had telescopes they’d share. It was quite amazing.
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