A Comet and a Galaxy


No, not an old Mercury and an old Ford.

Last week, Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) moved through the same bit of sky as spiral galaxy NGC 2903. Comet Iwamoto was discovered late last year and orbits the Sun in a long ellipse. It last in the inner Solar System around the year 648. The comet reached its closest point to the Sun (which is between Earth and Mars) on 6 February and its closest point to Earth on the 13th. This time-lapse video compresses almost three hours into about ten seconds. When this video was made, Comet Iwamoto, sporting a green coma, was about 10 light-minutes from Earth. NGC 2903 is about 30 million light years away.

Video Credit: Norbert Span

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