Monday, December 26, 2011

Aussies get all the luck with comets.

Been a while since I posted something on the blog site, so I need to get caught up again.   I'll just say 2011 has been a year to put behind me, and looking forward to starting 2012 - even if the Mayan calendar says this is our final year!
Comet Lovejoy seen from the ISS
So, once again there is a way cool fancy comet in the skies that favors those that walk upside down below the equator.  A few years back, they got the best view of Comet McNaught (but it was discovered by an Aussie anyway), and now Comet Lovejoy is showing off down there.  I guess I can't get too annoyed, even though we have had the 2nd driest December here in the NW, the skies have been quite foggy and hazy this month, so there haven't been that many really good observing nights.
Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy, discovered the comet and had it named after him.  The comet is known as a "sungrazer" since it appeared to be heading directly toward the sun and it's doom.  The SDO spacecraft has imaged a lot of these kamikaze comets over the years.  This comet barnstormed over the sun and reappeared on the other side surviving the  87,000 mile skimming of the solar surface.   It's now showing up in the "Down under" skies and putting on an amazing show!
(Although, the crew on the ISS has a much better view if you ask me).

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