January 24, 2022 2:15 pm

Comet Leonard will soon be visible from Earth

Ursula Pamela Garcia Meteored Mexico 4 min
Cometa Leonard
Comet Leonard was captured just over a week ago already sporting a green-tinged coma and an extended dust tail. Image: NASA-APOD / Dan Bartlett

This 2021 has been full of fascinating astronomical events and many of them have been clearly observed. From total lunar and solar eclipses, the sighting of comet Neowise, planetary positioningThere are even those who say they captured images of a UFO in Switzerland. Without a doubt this year is Space!

During the month of December, a possibility opens up to observe a bright comet of magnitude 4, which was discovered on January 3, 2021 from the Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona, USA, by the astronomer Greg J. Leonard. According to the experts, This comet passes through Earth’s orbit every 80 thousand years and can be seen this end of the year.

Baptized as Leonard (C / 2021 A1), will reach its closest point to the Earth on December 12, 2021 and closest to the Sun on January 3, 2022. Subsequently, it will quickly move away from the king star continuing its way outside our solar system.

Like many spatial phenomena, eIt’s difficult to predict when and how bright a comet will appear, because we do not know how much dust and gas it will emit (it can vary even from day to day), and this will control the amount of sunlight that is scattered and reflected back towards us.

Possible brightest comet dates

Depending on the dust and gas, it is expected that the modeled maximum brightness is around December 13-15, 2021, 1 to 3 days after its closest point to Earth. If the comet emits a lot of dust, this should make the peak brighter due to scattering, but already especially on the 15th.

We must be vigilant to the sky and pay close attention to astronomical news, because sometimes comets can surprise us by giving big explosions of gas and dust as they get closer to the Sun, and newer observations can improve predictions of how visible this comet might become.

Moments of best appreciation of Comet Leonard

At its closest approach to Earth, this comet will be visible just before sunrise and just after dark. We must bear in mind that the times and angles depend on a specific location. On the internet you can find a series of astronomy tools that allow you to enter your location and obtain information to guide the visualization of the comet.


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