Great Comet of 1882

Great Comet of 1882

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Great Comet of 1882, seen from South Africa. The comet is at upper left, seen in the night sky over a landscape of plants, with natives observing. This comet was visible from September 1882 to February 1883. It is part of a group of comets known as the Kreutz Sungrazers. It was visible in the daytime before it passed the Sun in late September. By mid-October it had started to break up. It is thought the comet was a itself a fragment of an earlier comet, and the new fragments will return in several hundred years time. Comets are icy bodies from the outer solar system that boil and form a bright tail of gas and dust as they approach the Sun.

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