Saturday, January 17, 2015

Green Comet Lovejoy Keeps Wowing Amateur Astronomers

Amateur astronomers and 'astrophotographers' around the globe have been keeping their eyes on the distinctly green glow of Comet Lovejoy, a cosmic object discovered last year that continues to amaze in telescope views. 

"The gases glow green when their molecules are ionized or excited," Hill wrote in an article for The Conversation. "Ionization causes electrons within the molecules to gain energy and when the electrons drop back down to their normal state, they give off light of a certain wavelength. For these molecules they emit green light, and since they are very strong emitters, their green color dominates the comet."

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