O Leonard’s comet, discovered in January of this year, will make a unique apparition on earth next week. According to a trajectory projected by scientists from the North American Space Agency (Nasa), the comet must pass as close to Earth as possible between the 8th and the 12th. towards the sun.
If weather conditions are favorable, Leonard, or “christmas comet“, as some science news portals have called it, will be visible to the naked eye, near the western horizon, in almost every country in Latin America during this period.
How to see the comet passing?
The main recommendation to have a privileged view of the comet’s passage is to look for places without visual pollution, with clear horizons and skies. Binoculars and telescopes can help locate and track you.
According to researchers, the ‘tail’ of dust characteristic of this type of star has a brightness of magnitude four, similar to that of an average star.
When exactly can the comet be seen?
Due to the unpredictability of comets, NASA is still unable to pinpoint exactly when and at what time Leonard will be closest to Earth.
There is an indication, however, according to the BBC, that the 12th is the more favorable, when the star will be about 35 million kilometers away from the planet. On that day, the ideal is to try to see the phenomenon before dawn.
A Twitter profile called ‘Comet C/2021 A1 (LEONARD)’ gives updates on the comet’s current status and tips for seeing it. Follow:
I am 64.63 million km away from Earth. You can spot me near the Cannes Venatici constellation. My current magnitude is 7.5, so I am NOT VISIBILE to the naked eye yet#comet #cometc2021a1 #cometLEONARD #C2021A1 #FollowTheComet
— Comet C/2021 A1 (LEONARD) (@cometleonard) December 3, 2021
Comet Leonard was discovered in January of this year when it was passing between the planets Mars and Jupiter. He was first noticed by Greg Leonard, senior research fellow at the University of Arizona, according to USA Today.
To the North American periodical, the astrophysicist and founder of the ‘Virtual Telescope’ project, Gianluca Masi, explained that Leonard is a comet of rare appearances. The last time it passed through Earth was more than 70,000 years ago. And once it passes through the Sun, it must be ejected from the solar system and may never be seen on Earth again.
“It makes watching this comet even more exciting as we say ‘goodbye’ to this icy little world,” Masi told USA Today.