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2015-01-15

Comet Lovejoy's Path

Doug White

Before I get started on this week's article, I must make a couple of corrections to my article on 1 Jan 15. The title was "Receipts 1922" which should have read "Receipts Oct 1955." I have no idea where the 1922 came from! The other correction is that Gabe Anderwald was Mr. McGregor's son-in-law who married Mr. McGregor's daughter, Norma Jean.
Just a few days ago it was announced that a comet by the name of Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) would appear in the night sky in our area. It was discovered in last year by Australian astronomer Terry Lovejoy, his fifth comet discovery. It made its closest pass to earth on 7 Jan 15, just a mere 44 million miles away. "New Year's Comet" would be a good name for this remarkable comet with its unusual green color.
A great view from the International Space Station was caught by Commander Dan Burbank. He was photographing lightning storms over the Pacific Ocean when the comet appeared in view. He described the sight as "the most amazing thing I have ever seen!"
Man, he had a front row seat for sure.
Well, good luck viewing the Lovejoy Comet.
If you missed it, it will be back again in about 8,000 years!
This reminds me of the fellow that purchased a century plant. The seller said, "If it doesn't bloom in a hundred years, come on back and I'll give you another."
Image from http://www.skyandtelescope.com/wp-content/uploads/Lovejoy2-1250px.gif.