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(Associated Press)

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Just Passing Through

There's a newcomer to the neighborhood, Comet Lulin, which was discovered in 2007 and makes its nearest approach to Earth tomorrow, at a relatively close 38 million miles. British, Italian and U.S. astronomers are studying the comet using NASA's Swift satellite, which has been making ultraviolet and X-ray images. Lulin gets its greenish cast from poisonous cyanogen and diatomic carbon gases in its atmosphere. The comet is visible to sky watchers with binoculars who have access to a dark place with a moonless sky. Several Web sites offer help locating it, including that of Sky and Telescope magazine (www.skyandtelescope.com).


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