Sunday, March 1, 2009

Green Comet and Blue Star Regulus

Last night February 28, at Powell Observatory, 20 minutes south of Kansas City, we welcomed w about 200 people who wanted to observe the comet through our 30 inch telescope. The snow had stopped, the clouds disappeared and we had color clear weather. The green comet was glowing at 6th magnitude. It now was up and south of the bright star Regulus. People could see its coma (cloud like area around the comet head called the nucleus , which you can't see in this photo) and nucleus which was near the center but was more difficult to observe. (Photo taken by Eric Flescher through 6 inch telescope,60 seconds- I am workin on the color photo).
Another person in Italy took a picture of the green comet when it was near bluish Spica a few days ago (we had clouds during this close approach). You can see it at
(if not this date go to this link/website and then go to archives link which is on the Spaceweather page lower portion)
On 2/25/2009, I took more photos of the comet. The tail is now easily seen and more pronounced as it has swung around Earth and now away from it, heading toward the outer reaches of the solar system. The tail is out to the side instead of behind the coma so we can now see it. Now the view is more like what we normally think of a comet, with it's nucleus having a streaming tail (boiling off by the Sun's energy), pointing away from the Sun.

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