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By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/22/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Time lapse video shows comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS int he Southern skies.

It's almost time to do some comet-gazing. A pair of naked-eye comets are inching their way across the sky in the Southern hemisphere and one will soon be visible in the North.

An image showing the locations of the comets in the Southern sky.

An image showing the locations of the comets in the Southern sky.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/22/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: comet, Lemmon, ISON, Pan-STAARS, naked-eye, visible, Year of the Comet, doom, doomsday, predictions, birghtness, visible, video


LOS ANGELES, Ca (Catholic Online) - The two comets are a sight to behold, both for their sheer beauty and the extreme rarity of seeing two naked-eye comets at once. The brighter of the two comets should be visible to observers in the Northern Hemisphere as of next month.

Both comets were recently photographed and a series of beautiful time-lapse images show them along with a spectacular display of the Southern Lights. Check out that video here. The images were captured and posted by Alex Cherney.

Comet Lemmon is the one that many will want to see because it is definitely the more colorful of the pair. Glowing with a blue-green light, Lemmon is made up of cyanogen gas and diatomic carbon, both chemicals which are common in comets. When the chemicals are present in high enough concentrations the dust and gas will reflect light in the blue-green spectrum.

Unfortunately for observers in the northern hemisphere, comet Lemmon will not be visible with the naked eye in the northern hemisphere. As it recedes from Earth in march, it will be visible later in the month to observers around the world with telescopes.

However, northern hemisphere observers will be getting an amazing treat with comet PanSTARRS in March. That comet is already visible to the naked eye and is expected to brighten as it moves north in the sky.

The comet will first be visible to observers in the northern hemisphere on the night of March 7th. To view it, you will need an unobstructed view to the west immediately after sunset. The comet will follow the sun below the horizon, but will rise a little higher each night.

It should remain visible thought the month of March, climbing high into the sky where it can be easily spotted. To the naked eye, it will look like a fuzzy patch of light.

Of course, this is just a prelude to the much anticipated main event in November. That's when comet ISON will be visible in the northern hemisphere. That comet may be so bright that it will be visible in daylight, rivaling the brightness of the moon - if predictions hold true.

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