November 30, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Comet Leonard is approaching Earth. How and when can we see it?

Comet Leonard is approaching Earth, which we can soon see in the sky. If astronomers’ predictions come true, Leonard could be the brightest comet this year.

Comet Leonard was only discovered earlier this year. Astronomer Gregory J. Leonard discovered the object, named C/2021 AI, on January 3 at the Mount Lemon Observatory in Arizona. According to its discoverer, the comet also got its name.

The comet is moving toward Earth at a speed of 254.399 km/h. When the comet was first captured, its luminosity was “extremely faint,” about 160,000 times fainter than the faintest stars in the sky.

When he gets close to the ground, he will gain clarity. It is not entirely certain whether Comet Leonard can be observed with the naked eye. It is possible that the luminosity of the comet, according to astronomers, is about to be seen with the naked eye.

However, many astronomers believe that its clarity will be enough to make it well noticeable in December. If they meet the expectations of the world’s astronomers, Leonard may be the brightest comet in 2021.

However, compared to Comet NEOWISE, its observation will be limited to a relatively short time.

When do you watch the comet from Slovakia?

However, it will definitely be visible with a small binoculars. However, we will be able to see it from Slovakia from the second half of November to around December 10.

In the second half of November, Comet Leonard from Slovakia will be visible in the second half of the night, at the beginning of December in the morning before sunrise.

The location of Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) as it will be visible across the eastern horizon in the first decade of December 2021. Source: astro.sci.muni.cz

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It should be closest to Earth on December 12, when it is about 35 million km away.

According to astronomers, the comet has a hyperbolic orbit, which means that once it revolves around the sun, it will be ejected from the solar system and will not be visible from Earth again.