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Tempel-Tuttle: The Leonid Comet (click to enlarge)
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Tempel-Tuttle: The Leonid Comet
Date: 26 Jan 1998

Star trails streak this composite-time exposure of comet Tempel-Tuttle recorded by Tim Puckett on 26 January 1998. Then passing through the inner solar system on its 33 year orbit around the sun, Tempel-Tuttle brightened unexpectedly, but binoculars or small telescopes were still required to visually observe it.

Tempel-Tuttle is also called "the Leonid Comet" as the yearly Leonid meteor shower results when the Earth crosses this comet's orbital plane and encounters a trail of cometary dust. So, while not rivaling spectacular naked-eye comets like Hyakutake or Hale-Bopp, Tempel-Tuttle still puts on a good show.

Copyright: T. Puckett (Puckett Observatory)

Credit: Astronomy Picture of the Day

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