the Comita Leonard It will reach its closest point to Earth on December 12, 2021, after traveling from Solar System Boundaries For 40,000 years. This astronomical object has become much brighter in recent days and can now be easily captured with binoculars or perhaps with the naked eye.
The celestial body is traveling at a speed of 47 km / s, and this Sunday it will pass less than 35 million km from our planet.
When will comet Leonard appear?
During its approach on December 12, the comet will be visible only from the middle and high latitudes of Northern Hemisphere. In the next couple of days, the comet will be in a part of the sky very close to the sun, so it will be visible again – at a different time and place – from December 15.
From that date it will also be visible from regions closer to the equator and from Southern Hemisphere. Comet Leonard will still be very close to our planet and close to the sun.
When will the comet be seen on December 12?
before dawn This will be the only time that Comet Leonard, as it is called, can be seen C/2021 A1, on December 12th. Next, timelines corresponding to the countries in which orb vision will be available.
What time are you going to watch in Mexico?
In Mexico it will be observed from 5.50 am until dawn.
What time will you watch in Spain?
In Spain it is observed from 6.10 in the morning until dawn.
When will it be seen in the US?
In the United States (Washington, D.C.) you will observe from 6:00 in the morning until sunrise.
How to identify and view Comet Leonard
This Sunday, the comet will be very low in the sky above the eastern horizon. For this reason, it is recommended to find a place where that area is clear of obstacles, such as buildings or mountains.
If you are guided by the constellations, you will be able to find the comet under the Serpent and in the middle of Ophiuchus.
However, you will probably need to use binoculars.
Of course, a clear sky is required and avoid city lights or lights near where the observation will be made.
you can see: Geminid: Remnants of a huge asteroid reaching Earth
If the climate or where you are located does not allow you to appreciate the comet at its closest point to Earth, you will have the opportunity to witness this astronomical event through a live broadcast by astrophysicist Gianluca Massi, who manages Virtual Telescope Project In Rome, Italy.
Broadcasting is scheduled to begin on 05.15 UTC December 12, 11.15 p.m. (December 11) in Mexico, 12.15 a.m. in Peru and Washington, D.C., 6.15 a.m. in Spain.
Comet Leonard’s Path
The comet will pass close to Earth and Venus before it gets close to the Sun and heads back toward the Oort Cloud, at the edge of the Solar System, and won’t return for 80,000 years.
This image shows its location in our cosmic neighborhood during the early hours of December 12, 2021.
You can review its course every day in this 3D simulator Sky Live.
What is the culprit?
Comets are cold bodies made up mainly of ice, dust, and rock., which is kept at this temperature because it is located far from the orbits of the planets. Most of them orbit in the Kuiper belt (beyond the orbit of Neptune) and in the Oort cloud (a kind of “shell” that includes our solar system, as NASA points out).
Their orbits indicate long elliptical paths; In the latter case it can be up to 50,000 astronomical units (AU). One is equivalent to 150 million kilometers or the average distance between the Sun and the Earth.
Due to the heat of the sun, the ice evaporates and forms a luminous halo around the comet. Due to wind pressure and solar radiation, a broad luminous tail develops toward the other side of its flight. This stretch can measure thousands of kilometers.
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