Monday, 05 November 2007 19:00
A comet visible since October 23 is attracting a lot
Before October 23, it was only visible with a telescope. On that
date it unexpectedly brightened, becoming visible to the naked eye. Scientists
say the comet is exploding and its coma, the cloud of gas and dust illuminated
by the sun, has grown bigger than the planet Jupiter. The comet can be seen in
the constellation Perseus as a fuzzy spot of light about as bright as the stars
in the Big Dipper. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, astronomers say. They
aren’t sure how long the comet will be visible, but estimate it could be weeks.
A telescope or binoculars help bring the comet’s details into focus.