23 Dec '11, 10pm

After Skirting the Sun, Comet Lovejoy Provides a Cosmic Show

After Skirting the Sun, Comet Lovejoy Provides a Cosmic Show

After Skirting the Sun, Comet Lovejoy Provides a Cosmic Show By ANDREW C. REVKIN NASA Comet Lovejoy is visible near Earth’s horizon in this nighttime image photographed by NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, Expedition 30 commander, onboard the International Space Station on Dec. 22, 2011. (Bigger version , Broader view. ) Several days after newly discovered Comet Lovejoy streaked through the Sun’s atmosphere (see video above), it provided a glorious pre-holiday display for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. NASA has posted an informative description of the comet’s journey and its discovery earlier this month by Tom Lovejoy, an amateur astronomer in Australia. I noticed the images thanks to a post from Jason Samenow at the Capital Weather Gang blog. After the comet uexpectedly survived its close solar encounter on Dec. 16, Samenow noted that the agency had prematur...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/after-skirti...

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