Watch out for Lulin comet closest to earth Tuesday

February 23rd, 2009 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Skygazers are all set to watch out a night spectacle Tuesday as comet Lulin approaches closest to the earth and will be visible to naked eyes.
The comet Lulin has been brightening steadily in the last few weeks and is now visible to naked eye in an atmosphere free of air or light pollution.

“The comet is at its closest approach to the Earth, and is expected to be a naked-eye visible object. If the weather is clear, and there is no haze in the sky, one should be able to locate the comet,” said Nehru Planetarium director N. Rathnasree.

However, some optical aid like a pair of binoculars or a moderate telescope might be needed to view the comet from the light polluted areas of cities like Delhi, said Rathnasree.

The Nehru Planetarium is organising a public viewing in coordination with Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) at Teen Murti House for people to watch the comet Tuesday evening.

“Locating the comet on Tuesday would be a little easier, as it is situated very close to the planet Saturn and can be seen in the evening skies sometime after sunset,” said Rathnasree.

The comet was discovered in July 2007 - jointly by Quanzhi Ye from China and Chi-Sheng Lin from Taiwan, from images obtained at the Lu-lin Observatory in Taiwan.

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