Astro photography

Comet Cardinal and M38

Comet Cardinal and M38, April 12, 2009. This small green comet (shown in the lower right of the photo) was discovered by Canadian astronomer Rob Cardinal, a researcher at the University of Calgary. Its green colour comes from fluorescing CN (cyanogen) and C2 molecules. On the evening of April 12 the comet was just a degree away from M38, a large open cluster of stars shown here in the upper left. The bright star on the lower right, about half a degree from the comet is the red giant Sigma Aurigae. On this night Comet Cardinal was roughly 261 million km from Earth.

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Steve Irvine
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Wiarton, Ontario
Canada N0H 2T0
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