June 9, 2010
That ain't no Comet, It's a Green Lantern Ring!
Depictions of Green Lantern rings flying across interstellar space are only seen in comic books. But I believe that nothing else comes close to these pictures as to how lantern rings in flight might look like in our real world.
Sure, it is a comet, and that tail is made of gas and particles blown off by the solar wind from the comet's icy nucleus, and the green glow is actually caused by ionized atoms. Maybe "real" Green Lantern rings won't leave trails like that because it won't shave off ice, gas and dust. But if you leave some room for your child-like imagination, it will be an even more wonderful sight seeing that green glow of pure energy!
Now here's some trivia: This particular Comet McNaught is just one among many. In other words, there are many Comet McNaughts. Yes, just like the legend of Green Lantern rings, there's a whole bunch of Comet McNaughts. Well, perhaps not as many as lantern rings which could number up to thousands. But I can make a good guess (based on explanations from BadAstronomy) that the other McNaughts are colored green, too. Its probly even more exciting imagining some of them are yellow, blue or orange...
But if you wanted to see nature's depiction of a Green Lantern ring racing across the night sky, you might actually have a chance to see it in the next few days.
You never know, Comet McNaught might just be a Green Lantern ring in disguise, roaming our solar system looking for the next bearer! So always be ready. It might choose you!
It's Easy Being Green
Comet in the June Dawn
Comet McNaught by Anthony Ayiomamitis and Michael Jaeger