Sunday, September 24, 2023

Have you seen Comet Nishimura yet? This Sunday is the best time to see it

Comet Nishimura, discovered on August 12 by Japanese amateur astronomer Hideo Nishimura, has become visible from Earth in recent days and promises a unique celestial spectacle.

The best time to admire its splendor is at dusk on Sunday September 17th, before it continues its journey and does not return to our sights for another 434 years.

According to astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN), the comet was visible at dawn in previous days, but barely above the eastern horizon before sunrise. However, as of today, the comet will be visible at dusk, despite being at a very low elevation above the western horizon. Your journey takes you from the constellation Leo towards Virgo.

The comet, technically called C/2023 P1 and named in honor of its discoverer, is currently about 125 million kilometers from Earth and approaching the sun.

During this week your brightness will gradually increase. According to calculations by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Nishimura will be just 34 million kilometers from the Sun and reach perihelion, the minimum distance from the Sun, on Sunday, September 17th.

Although the comet is currently difficult to see with the naked eye due to dawn glare, there is a possibility that the comet will be difficult to see this weekend.

Experts advise observing the spectacle from a clear location without obstacles, as the comet will pass at a low altitude over the western horizon. For a better view, we recommend using binoculars or a small telescope.

This comet is classified as a long period comet, meaning it has an extremely long orbit. The last time it visited Earth was in the 16th century and, according to astronomers’ estimates, it will not approach our planet again for another 434 years.

To know

Comets like Nishimura consist of small particulate matter, residual minerals from the formation of the solar system and a portion of ice, including water, methane and ammonia, as well as organic material. As these comets approach the Sun, they heat up, lose gases, and some of the water becomes liquid, which weakens their interior and can lead to their fragmentation.

These long-period comets originate in the Oort Cloud, a structure surrounding the solar system made up of billions of icy bodies. This cloud is located at a distance of about 2,000 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun at its closest point.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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