Comet Leonard will soon pay a unique tribute to Earth.
The astronomical star – christened by some means as a “Christmas comet” – was only discovered in January of this year, when it was between Mars and Jupiter, and NASA scientists have already tracked the orbit it follows toward the sun.
The good news is that Leonard It can be seen with the naked eye in Latin American countries. Of course, the weather conditions must be perfect for Leonard’s appreciation before dawn.
will be in the middle December, between 12 and 14, when it can be better estimated, as it will be at its closest point to Earth.
However, scientists cannot give an exact date of when it will present its greatest splendor due to The dust and gas emitted are unpredictable.
“Although comets are difficult to predict, by some estimates Comet Leonard will become visible to the naked eye in December,” NASA explains.
When and where will it appear?
Comet C/2021 A1, discovered by Gregory J. Leonard – hence his name – was initially seen as a “faint spot” in early 2021, when it passed through Mars’ orbit.
Subsequent observations and analyzes of scientists showed that it is a comet with a long orbit period, about 80,000 yearsSo its appearance is close to the ground It is an exceptional show.
On December 12, Leonard will be at its closest point to Earth’s path, approximately 35 million kilometers away.
Around that date, before dawn, Leonard would be seen with the naked eye almost anywhere in the world.
In the case of America, the northern hemisphere would have a better perspective on its closest approach to the planet. This means that in North and Central American countries, as well as the Caribbean, it may be appreciated by East horizon.
NASA explains that in the second half of December, it will reverse its position from north to south, so that the countries of South America can see it at its distance from Earth near the western horizon line.
Clear sky conditions will allow the comet’s tail to be dimmed with the naked eye. But binoculars or binoculars can make it easier to locate and track.
NASA took this picture of Leonard a little over a week ago, when he was already wearing a cloud of green dust and gas and the characteristic dust “tail” that these space objects have.
The image shown was made up of 62 images were taken with a medium-sized telescope: One set of exposures tracks the comet, while another set of exposures tracks background stars,” NASA explains.
After reaching perihelion, the closest point in its orbit to the sun, Leonard He will return to the depths of space On the path of thousands of years.