SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK: Green Comet, Biggest Burst

SPACE PICTURES THIS WEEK: Green Comet, Biggest Burst
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February 23, 2009--Comet Lulin is framed by trees in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. The trees appear red because of the red lamp used by the photographer.

The green, "two tailed" comet made its closest approach to Earth on Tuesday, swinging past at about 38 million miles (61 million kilometers).

Because of its angle of approach, Lulin appeared to have a second anti-tail pointing toward the sun. Vaporizing ices from the comet included cyanogen and diatomic carbon, both gases that glow green in sunlight out in the vacuum of space. (Read more about comet Lulin.)

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—Photograph by Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP
 
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