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#Science

Greenish comet Lovejoy at peak of its visibility tonight; spot it with naked eye

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Lovejoy will be visible with the naked eye to those living in the northern hemisphere as the comet cruises past Earth at some of the closest distance it will ever be in 8000 years and if you are one of those trying to spot it, look out for an object with greenish glow in the constellation Taurus.

Pick a spot with little or no light pollution, take out your pair of binoculars or small telescope and you should be able to spot the comet as a small, fuzzy greenish spot on Taurus.

You can also use the constellation Orion as a reference point and picture it as the mighty hunter. Locate the left knee of this hunter like constellation drift across towards the left and scan that area.

Read More: Want to see comet Lovejoy through the naked eye? Here’s how

Here’s an image of the comet just as it passes Orion [Image credit: Reddit user SPACESHUTTLEINMYANUS]:

Lovejoy passing Orion

Lovejoy is still falling sunwards at present and will reach its closest point to Sun (the perihelion) on January 30 before heading out into space again. This will be the closest it gets to the Sun in 8,000 years and after that it will grow dimmer and dimmer.

Below is the map of Comet Lovejoy throughout January for your reference:

Comet Lovejoy path

The comet has been catalogued as C/2014 Q2 and it gets its green glow from the chemicals in the atmosphere surrounding the comet – known as a ‘coma’. The colour comes from molecules melting in the heat of the sun – which it is already shedding into a intricate 200,000-mile-long ion tail.