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Amazing Space Photos

37 of 82

Comet Lulin

This image provided by NASA shows the Comet Lulin as it was passing through the constellation Libra when Swift imaged it. This view merges the Swift data with a Digital Sky Survey image of the star field. While waiting for high-energy outbursts and cosmic explosions, NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Explorer satellite is monitoring Comet Lulin as it closes on Earth. For the first time, astronomers are seeing simultaneous ultraviolet and X-ray images of a comet. Data acquired by Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (blue and green) and X-Ray Telescope data (red). While all the planets and most of the other objects in the solar system circle the sun counterclockwise, Lulin circles clockwise, said NASA astronomer Stephen Edberg. And thanks to an optical illusion, from Earth it appears as if the comet's tail is in the front as the comet approaches Earth and the sun.

(AP Photo/NASA)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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