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Comet approaching: »C / 2021 A1 Leonard« can be observed in the sky

2021-12-08T12:05:28.920Z

Early risers can watch a comet in the sky at the weekend. It's the only chance.



Enlarge image

Last year the comet »Neowise« flew past the earth

Photo: Dierk Boeser / imagebroker / IMAGO

»C / 2021 A1 Leonard« is passing through.

The comet, discovered at the beginning of the year, will fly past the earth next weekend and after its extensive orbit around the sun will disappear into the vastness of space and never return to the solar system.

With a little luck you can get a glimpse of him on Sunday.

If the weather and dawn cooperate, the comet could be visible to the naked eye on Sunday between six and seven o'clock on the eastern horizon.

"This tail star will not make for a bright spectacle," says the Star Friends Association.

But it should be easier to spot with binoculars or a telescope.

Even when the comet reaches its closest distance to Earth, it maintains a generous safety distance of 34 million kilometers.

»C / 2021 A1 Leonard« was the first comet discovered this year on January 3rd.

He was spotted by Gregory J. Leonard at the Mount Lemmon Observatory in the US state of Arizona.

Comets are billions of years old and originate from the early days of our solar system.

They consist of a mixture of ice, dust and rock.

When a comet approaches the sun, its core, usually just a few kilometers in size, begins to evaporate and forms a dense cloud of dust and gas.

The comet's tail emerges later.

Lots of falling stars in the sky

Shooting stars can be observed more frequently in the sky and will be seen particularly frequently in the next two weeks: The annual meteor shower of the Geminids is on its way.

On the night of December 13-14, the pre-Christmas spectacle will reach its climax with up to 150 shooting stars per hour.

The shooting stars maximum this year coincides with the waxing moon, which only sets well after midnight and before that it brightens the sky.

Therefore, especially the morning hours are ideal for observation.

Shooting stars come from a cloud of dust that crosses our earth on its orbit around the sun at the same time every year.

The dust particles enter the earth's atmosphere, where they then create the glowing phenomena known as falling stars.

To watch the pre-Christmas skiers, dark places far away from the light-flooded cities are best, but the brightest Geminids can also be seen in the big city sky.

fww / dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-12-08

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