"The Devil's Comet" is approaching Earth: when can it be seen

By Jurassic JennMay 4, 2024 12:38 PMScience
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"The Devil's Comet" is approaching Earth
''The Devil's Comet'' is approaching Earth. Source: www.earth.com

In three days, on April 21, the amazing green comet 12P/Pons-Brooks will reach the closest point in its orbit to the Sun, which is 232 million kilometers away from our star. The comet is getting brighter every day, and it can already be seen in the night sky of the northern hemisphere of the Earth.

This information is reported by SSPDaily.

The publication notes that the comet is unlikely to be seen with the naked eye. Those who want to observe this phenomenon will have to arm themselves with a telescope or at least powerful binoculars.

The comet will be visible for several days before and after April 21, right after dusk.

"Even though the comet will reach its maximum brightness because it is closer to the Sun, it is quite far from us. Comets can show major changes in brightness as they are heated by the Sun, but unless something happens, the comet will only be visible through binoculars or a telescope," explained Frank Maloney, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

Astronomers have nicknamed Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks the "Devil's Comet" for its strange "horns" formed as a result of cryovolcanic activity. Over the past 9 months, the comet has had four eruptions. After the last one, which occurred on November 14 last year, the comet's years disappeared for an unknown reason.

Comet Pons-Brooks will reach its closest point to Earth in June, but then it will be visible only in the southern hemisphere. The next time the Devil's Comet will return is in 71 years, in 2095.

It should be reminded that Pons-Brooks' comet was first spotted in 1812. Its size is twice the size of Mount Everest.

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