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Newly discovered Comet Leonard to fly by Earth in once-in-a-lifetime event: Here’s how to see it – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-12-06 00:12:41 –

((((KTLA) – The comet discovered earlier this year is expected to fly over Earth on its way through the solar system next week, giving it the only chance to observe celestial bodies.

Comet Leonard, also known as C / 2021, will be closest to Earth on December 12, according to NASA. The comet was named because it was discovered by astronomer Gregory Leonard earlier this year.

Earth Sky C / 2021 A explains, “It is the best comet in 2021 and is likely to be the brightest comet by the end of the year.”

Leonard is actually already visible in the sky and can be seen in the first two weeks of December east before the sun rises. NASA You can find it by looking between the handle of the Big Dipper and Arcturus. Arcturus is one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

Then, when Leonard is closest to our planet, the comet will be closer to the Earth’s horizon. According to space agencies, comets can look bright, but unfortunately they are more difficult for Stargazer to see.

NASA reports that the comet will be visible in the evening sky, especially shortly after sunset, around December 14, after the closest approach on December 12.

The brightness of comets gradually diminishes as they move from Earth to the Sun, and the closest celestial body to the center of the solar system will occur around January 3, 2022.

Despite being one of the brightest comets to pass through the planet, Leonard may still be difficult to see, at least without small telescopes and binoculars. After all, even at the point closest to Earth, C / 2021 will still be more than 21 million miles away.

Distance aside, “comets are notorious for being difficult to predict in terms of brightness and visibility,” NASA explains. “Comet Leonard is predicted to peak at the brightness that you probably need to find it with binoculars. It may be bright enough to see with the naked eye, but with comet you I really don’t know. ”

Stargazer, on the other hand, believes it’s worth the effort. According to Gregory Leonard, this is the only chance to see a comet that may have visited the solar system before. It is about 75,000 to 80,000 years ago. Inverse..

“So it already had one passage, but of course no one was actually around to record the event,” Leonard said in an interview with an online magazine. “And now this comet appears to be in an orbit we call a hyperbolic orbit. Therefore, as it passes through the Sun, it is released from the solar system for millions of years before encountering another star system. Will leak. “

Newly discovered Comet Leonard to fly by Earth in once-in-a-lifetime event: Here’s how to see it Source link Newly discovered Comet Leonard to fly by Earth in once-in-a-lifetime event: Here’s how to see it

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