The Green Comet
I know, it sounds like a comic book superhero, doesn’t it?
But it’s real and it’s official name is “Comet McNaught (C/2009 R1)” (which is pretty boring, let’s face it—do these astronomers have no imagination?) and if you’re in the northern hemisphere it is currently visible in the extreme northern sky in the early morning. Word is, it may even be visible to the naked eye if the sky is dark enough. So get up early and take a look.
Those of us down here in the southern hemisphere (officially, that’s “downunder”) will have to make do with the photos. You can see a wonderful photo and also “read all about it” in far more detail on the Bad Astronomy blog, in the post Actually, if You’re A Comet It *Is* Easy Being Green.
So go check it out and read about solar winds and what actually does make this particular comet such a beautiful green. And as Phil Plait, the “Bad Astronomer” says: “This comet promises to be a good one, so if you get a chance, go out and hunt it down.”
That’s you, Northern hemispere-ites: you’ve got your marching orders. Get up early and go check it out!