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Comet 73P

As today's weather was pretty good, I made the most of the sunshine and took my work outside for a couple of hours. (The real reason is that I just needed to get away from the noise in the office and be uncontactable for a while, I kept well out of the sun :-) The good weather has continued this evening and, after a spectacular sunset, the sky is still clear. Just now I took the opportunity to have a look for fragment B of comet 73P which is currently disintigrating rapidly as it swings past the Earth towards the Sun. Over the last ten years 73P has become several distinct pieces and during this orbit the breakup has accelerated - the comet is now in over 30 seperate pieces. There have been some superb images of the fragments taken recently (VLT, Hubble), but there is nothing quite like seeing it yourself. Even with my little binoculars, fragment B is easily visible from the front of the house, roughly halfway between Vega and delta Cyg. If you get the chance over the next couple of weeks, go take a look as it might not survive another orbit!

Posted by Megan on Wednesday 10th May 2006 (22:38 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink

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