This sunset Sunday September 17th will be Best time to appreciate it in it Northern hemisphere to Comet NishimuraWhich was discovered by an amateur astronomer last August 12, which according to the calculations of experts in the subject It would not be seen again for 434 years. in it Southern HemisphereMeanwhile, it can be seen between September 22 and 27.
Comet C/2023 P1, named after Nishimura in honor of the comet The amateur astronomer who discovered itThe Japanese object Hideo Nishimura is approaching the Sun, which is why its brightness has gradually increased throughout this week.
“In the last days, He added: “The comet was visible at dawn, but at a very low altitude above the eastern horizon before sunrise.” Spanish National Astronomical Observatory (OAN) astronomer Miguel Quirejeta said on Wednesday.
The researcher said, who pointed out that “since Thursday, Nishimura” began to be visible at dusk, at a very low altitude above the western horizon, advancing from the constellation Leo towards the constellation Virgo.The comet may be visible to the naked eye“Despite the great difficulty” This Sunday.
How to see Comet Nishimura
To ensure a scene Querejeta is recommended Stand in a clear placeWithout mountains or obstacles, because the comet will pass “at a low altitude above the western horizon.” He recommended observing it with binoculars or a small telescope.
Meanwhile, Apple launched an app to locate the comet. The application is called Comet Nishimura It can be downloaded through the App Store. “All you have to do is raise your device to the sky and find the red mark on the screen,” the company explains in detail on what to do after opening the app.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the best time to see the comet, according to calculations by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will be at sunset on Sunday, September 17 at 7:35 pm, because that is the appropriate time to see the comet. Nishimura will reach perihelion (minimum distance from the sun): It will be only 34 million kilometers from the sun.
“Because of how bright the comet will be, They can even be seen with the naked eye, but for a very short period of time“Explained the experts on the subject.
In the next two days, according to specialists’ calculations, this will also be visible. “It can be viewed on the 18th until 7:50 pm and on the 19th until 8 pm.. Thus, it will be visible each day for a longer period, slightly further away from the Sun, but in the same direction, in this case towards the west. But also, every day will be dim starting on the 17th.”
When can it be seen in Argentina?
Experts hope so Between 22 and 27 September It can also be observed from the Southern Hemisphere.
Regarding the possibility of seeing it from Argentina,… Graduated in Astronomy from the Felix Aguilar Observatory, Eric GonzalezHe explained to the media in the province of San Juan that “estimating the brightness of a comet is not easy: it is not as simple as saying ‘it will be at this distance, then it will have such a brightness and it will be like that’. It can be seen, but it depends a lot on the activity of its core. That is, “The amount of material emitted as a result of the action of the solar wind affecting the comet. This nucleus is completely inactive.”
“So, What can be known is that there will be four or five days between the twenty-second and twenty-seventh days in which it will be seen. “But it will be at sunset, and since the sunlight is still a bit strong, we don’t know if the comet will be bright enough to see it,” Gonzalez added. Exposure to time, however It is not something one can point out in the sky with the naked eye.“, he concluded.
Nishimura is a long-period comet, meaning it has a very long orbit. The last time he visited Earth was in the sixteenth century, and according to astronomers’ estimates, he will not return for another 434 years.
Comets are a mixture of small particles of fine dust (minerals left over from the formation of the solar system) plus a percentage of ice, not just water but also methane and ammonia, among other compounds, as well as organic matter.
This loosely bound amalgam heats up as it passes close to the Sun, losing a large amount of gas and much of the water may remain liquid, thus weakening the comet’s interior and possibly ending up disintegrating.
These long-period comets come from the Oort Cloud, A structure surrounding the solar system consisting of billions of icy bodies, located (at their closest point) at a distance of about 2,000 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun.