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Green comet LINEAR soon visible in Northern Hemisphere

The comet will appear green as a result of its high concentration of diatomic carbon atoms, which fluoresce in the light of the sun.
By Brooks Hays   |   March 25, 2016 at 2:45 PM
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GREENBELT, Md., March 25 (UPI) -- Comet LINEAR, formally named 252P, is currently streaking across the skies of the Southern Hemisphere, but will soon be visible in the Northern Hemisphere.

In the final days of March, sky-gazers armed with binoculars will be able to glimpse the comet during predawn hours.

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"Don't expect Comet LINEAR to be obvious, with a long tail," Kelly Beatty, senior editor of Sky and Telescope magazine, said in a released statement. "Its light isn't concentrated in a single point, but instead is spread out in a soft, round glow, larger than the moon but many thousands of times dimmer."

Currently, Comet LINEAR is 100 times brighter than expected, but as it moves into view in the Northern Hemisphere it will become more difficult to see. It likely won't be visible without the aid of magnification due to the polluting light of the waxing moon.

The comet will appear green in color as a result of its high concentration of diatomic carbon atoms, which fluoresce in the light of the sun.

A map of the sky's constellations will help sky-watchers find the comet. It will appear between Sagittarius and Scorpius.

As Space.com reports, the comet will also move higher in the sky each day, appearing at the same height as Mars and Saturn on March 29 and even with Saturn and Antares on March 31.

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