Hot on the heels of last summertime’s Comet NEOWISE it’s appearing like the northern hemisphere may simply get another intense comet in 2021.
Found recently, brand-new pictures of Comet Leonard appear to reveal the dirty visitor to the Planetary system currently has a brilliant nucleus and a tail.
Although it’s now being photographed by astronomers throughout the world, EarthSky reports that the comet– formally called C/2021 A1 (Leonard)– was found at Arizona’s Mount Lemmon Observatory on January 3, 2021 by Greg Leonard, a senior research study expert, for this reason the name “Comet Leonard.”
Not remarkably, it’s currently gotits own Twitter feed
Comet Leonard is still 6 au from the Sun. An au— brief for huge system– is the range from the Earth to the Sun. Jupiter has to do with 5 au from the Sun while the next world out, Saturn, is around 9 au from the Sun.
Because it’s up until now away, C/2021 A1 will not make its perihelion— its closest technique to the Sun– up until January 3, 2022, though it is forecasted to get simply 0.233 au from Earth on December 12, 2021.
That’s a really safe range!
Mid-to-late December 2021 is when it might look its finest– most likely finest seen prior to dawn and simply after sundown– if it endures that long.
Nevertheless, do not get too thrilled right now since the behaviour of comets is infamously tough to anticipate.
Being favorable, there’s some proof that it might peak at around magnitude 4, which indicates it would show up to the naked eye. It’s presently magnitude 19.
Presently noticeable in big telescopes just, Comet Leonard is approximately near the lower star in the “deal with” of the Huge Dipper– the star Alkaid– if you look north after dark. It will move towards upwards towards Alkaid for the rest of January, then loop through the Huge Dipper and appear to move approximately back in the instructions it came.
By the time it ends up being noticeable to the naked eye in December 2021– if that’s what occurs– Comet Leonard will be seen near to intense star Arcturus in the constellation of Boötes.
Wanting you clear skies and broad eyes.