Thursday , January 21 2021

A comet and star stars illuminate the sky

"The green color comes from the gas coming from the comet," he said.

"There's a bunch of ice on this methane – it's basically like a dirty snowball so when it goes around the sun it melts … and it glows steam, stinks."

Hours later the stars fall and flicker across the sky as the Earth passes through the tail of the Aston 3100 Pheethon.

They will look impressive from the earth but the falling stars are actually only small rocks that broke off the asteroid before they are burned in the atmosphere of the earth.

"They're about the size of a grain of sand, or even a little gravel and they travel tens of thousands of miles an hour," Dr. Tucker said.

While observers will need binoculars or a telescope to catch the Christmas comet, a meteor shower will be visible from anywhere in Australia, even in major cities, as long as it's a bright night.

"It's very accessible, you do not need anything special, you just need the night sky," Dr. Tucker said.

Friday Forecast:

Sydney: Mostly cloudy conditions and low fog, possible breaks.

Melbourne: A cloudy night with scattered thunderstorms.

Brisbane: Mostly cloudy. A high chance of showers developing.

Adelaide: Cloudy but possible breaks.

Perth: An especially bright evening.

Hobart: Mostly cloudy conditions.

Canberra: Possible breaks, but mostly cloudy.

Darwin: Partly cloudy.


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