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Subject Comet Lovejoy near star Polaris...1260 days since it's resurrection on the Sun Dec 16th, 2011
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Original Message Dec 16th, 2011

COMET LOVEJOY SURVIVES: Incredibly, sungrazing Comet Lovejoy has survived its close encounter with the sun. Lovejoy flew only 140,000 km over the stellar surface during the early hours of Dec. 16th. Experts expected the icy sundiver to be destroyed. Instead, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the comet emerging from perihelion (closest approach) apparently intact:

Lovejoy is fading but is still, remarkably, bright enough to be seen with a pair of binoculars.

It is now drifting serenely up towards Polaris, the Pole Star, and that means it is very easy for even the most inexperienced comet hunter to find: if you know where to find Polaris, you can find Comet Lovejoy as it heads away from Earth and returns to the cold, lonely depths of the outer solar system. It won’t grace our skies again until the year 15382!

[link to earthsky.org]


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