Comet approaching earth… run for your LIVES!

Very cool news about a comet.

Space Weather News for Feb. 18, 2009


COMET LULIN UPDATE:  Comet Lulin is approaching Earth and brightening rapidly.  Observers say it is now visible to the naked eye as a faint (magnitude +5.6) gassy patch in the constellation Virgo before dawn. Even city dwellers have seen it.  Backyard telescopes reveal a vivid green comet in obvious motion. Just yesterday, amateur astronomers watched as a solar wind gust tore away part of the comet’s tail, [VERY cool!] the second time this month such a thing has happened. Lulin’s closest approach to Earth (38 million miles) is on Feb. 24th; at that time the comet could be two or three times brighter than it is now.  Browse the gallery for the latest images

SATELLITE DEBRIS:  More than a week has passed since the Feb. 10th collision of Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 over northern Siberia, and the orbits of some of the largest fragments have now been measured by US Strategic Command.  Today’s edition of features global maps showing where the debris is located. [Yes… you will want to plan your next trip accordingly!] Only 26 fragments are currently plotted, but that number will grow as radar tracking of the debris continues.  Check back often for updates.


I must get out with the telescope one morning and look at this!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mike says:

    That is very, very cool. While we wait for it to hit the earth and destroy everything:…Z-chat?

  2. joy says:

    To where should we run?

  3. Mila says:

    How far north do you have to be to see it? Can it be seen in Florida?

  4. JoyfulMom7 says:

    what mike said! my priest is away, can’t go to Mass, Z- chat next best place to be when world ends!

  5. Cally says:

    This deserves another killer-asteroid question.

  6. mike says:

    darn… missed z chat last night :(

  7. Ohio Annie says:

    Mila, it is in Virgo so you can see it from Florida okay. There is a map available online at to show you where it is.

  8. Coletta says:

    Mila, you know, I think it was posted by the guy in Florida but taken in Chile, sorry.

  9. John Kusske says:

    First word of the upcoming total solar eclipse in July, and now this! It seems 2009 is going to be a portentious year. Is somebody losing the Mandate of Heaven?

  10. It would be fun to travel to see that eclipse!

  11. John Kusske says:

    Anyone who can see the eclipse should–it’s the longest of the 21st century. I’m hoping to see it from Shanghai, where it will be 5 minutes. Some people are planning going out to Sheshan, site of the former Shanghai observatory (Jesuit-founded of course) as well as the famous Sheshan basillica. That sounds like a good plan, or that failing just go down to Xujiahui where St. Ignatius Cathedral is, and the tomb of Xu Guangqi the famous early Chinese Catholic convert and collaborator with Matteo Ricci.

  12. John K: Wouldn’t that be a great WDTPRS pilgrimage? The idea came up before, I believe.

  13. St. Paul told us to run for our eternal lives, the imperishable crown.

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