Cootamundra man John Glossop had the town quaking in fear when he posted an image of what turned out to be a green comet flying through the sky.

Worry spread throughout the town, could it be aliens? could it be an asteroid? is the world about to end?

All questions were raised as the picture surfaced. Luckily it was just a comet, a green comet.

According to John who’s been an astronomy lover for 60 years, green comets are more common than we think.

“There’s plenty of comets out there, the majority of which are actually green, you just have to know where to look for them, they’re a bit like fish in the see if you’re looking in the right place you can find plenty,” Glossop said. Scientists have long suspected the green glow around some comets comes from the breakdown of a reactive molecule called dicarbon (C2).

To verify this in the lab, researchers used an ultraviolet laser to strip away the chlorine atoms from molecules of carbon chloride (C2Cl4) and then bombarded the remaining C2 molecule with a high-intensity light.

For most people the comet entering visibility to the naked eye was something they had never seen before, for John however, it was a pretty common occurrence.

For the full story make sure to pick up this week’s edition of the Cootamundra Times.