Best of AOP - Solar System

Comet Ikeya-Zhang

In the past comets brought with them connotations of doom and gloom. Witnessing a comet in the night sky could very well be one of the scariest things a person might see up there in the heavens. Nowadays, given sufficient distance from the Earth, comets elicit a distinctly different reaction. People gaze at them in wonder from even bright city skies, and amateur astronomers enjoy the change in pace from their usual astronomical vistas. This comet rounded the Sun in 2002 and left on its journey to the outer part of the solar system. On its way, people in the northern hemisphere were able to catch a glimpse of it for a few months.

Last Updated: 26-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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Meade 16in LX200 telescope operating at f/10 

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

RGB color production was used to create this image.

Red = 4 binned 2x2

Green = 4 binned 2x2

Blue = 6 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Bob Rickert/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF