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JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3 Lulin), optical image. Comet Lulin's bright green colour comes from a combination of gases that make up its local atmosphere, primarily diatomic carbon (C2), which appears as a green glow when illuminated by sunlight in the vacuum of space. The comet was near conjunction with Saturn on 23 February 2009 and then passed near Regulus in the constellation of Leo on 26 and 27 February. Photographed from Starhome Observatory, Springville, California, USA.
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