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NEW YEARS COMET: After a 13.6 year absence, Comet 8P/Tuttle is once again traveling through the inner solar system and on Jan. 1st and 2nd it makes its closest approach to Earth--only 24 million miles away. The emerald-colored comet will brighten to a predicted magnitude of 5.8, visible to the unaided eye from dark-sky sites and a fine target for backyard telescopes:
 
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