Friday, May 19, 2006

...and A View to the Sky

For all you fellow astronomy nerds out there, especially those with telescopes, here's your chance: Comet 73P. In 1995 this comet unexpectantly broke up into at least 58 pieces. Earlier part of this week, many pieces will have passed within 12 million miles of our planet. This is only 30 times as far away as our moon, thus the closest comet within the last 20 years.

A meteor shower is expected to be seen between May 19 and June 19 of this year as Earth passes through the edges of the comet's tail. The largest and brightest fragment (called Fragment C), and thought to be the main bulk of the comet, may be visible to the naked eye in dark skies. Fragment B, the next brightest comet fragment, may require binoculars.

You can read more about the history of and expected passing of Comet 73P's remains at the Comet Chasers website.

Wow, what a treat: a recent full moon and now comets!

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