The comet is here, and it is time to catch it


Monday’s solar eclipse isn’t the only once-in-a-lifetime celestial event on the horizon.
An explosive comet called the “Mother of Dragons” will be appearing after dusk for the next few weeks in the Northern Hemisphere, giving stargazers plenty of time to catch a glimpse.
Dubbed Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, this cosmic hailstone only orbits the sun once every 71 years, with its last solar circumnavigation occurring in 1954.
This particular body is a cryovolcano, which erupts when a large amount of gas and ice amasses and combusts like frozen Coke can.
The best time to witness the comet — which is three times the size of Mount Everest — will be on April 21, when it will reach its closest point to the Sun.
The “Mother Of Dragons” will be nearest to Earth in June, but will only be visible in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning early April is Northerners’ best bet to get a glimpse.
“You should go to a location away from city lights and with an unobstructed view of the western horizon,” according to Chodas and Farnocchia.
“The comet should be fairly easy to find during the total solar eclipse, as well as a number of planets, but the main focus during those 4 minutes should be on the eclipse itself!” declared Chodas and Farnocchia.


A double header that is interstellar.

There are other once-in-a-lifetime celestial events in the horizon besides Monday’s solar eclipse. For the next few weeks, a spectacular comet known as the “Mother of Dragons” will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere after dusk, providing plenty of opportunity for astronomers to catch a glimpse.

Two NASA navigation engineers, Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, and Davide Farnocchia, told CNN in a shared email that “the comet will brighten a bit as it gets closer to the sun, and it should be visible to the naked eye low in the west [each evening] about an hour after sunset.”.

This celestial hailstone, known as Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, only makes one 71-year orbit around the sun; its most recent circumnavigation took place in 1954.

As a cryovolcano, this specific body erupts when a significant volume of gas and ice builds up and explodes like a frozen Coke can.

The comet’s coma, or gas cloud at its core, developed “horns” during previous eruptions due to the arctic blast, giving 12P the nickname “Devil Comet” akin to an intergalactic Beezlebub. “.

Astronomers have dubbed 12P the “Mother of Dragons” since the appendages have not been visible in recent viewings, and it is believed to be the source of the yearly “kappa-Draconids” meteor shower.

The comet, which is three times the size of Mount Everest, will be at its closest point to the Sun on April 21, making it the ideal time to view it.

The best time for Northerners to catch a glimpse of the “Mother Of Dragons” is early April, as she will only be visible in the Southern Hemisphere when she is closest to Earth in June.

An hour after sunset is when the intergalactic ice cube will be most visible, so stargazers hoping to see the iceball cometh should set up camp in an isolated spot with a clear view of the west.

Chodas and Farnocchia advise going to a spot with an unhindered view of the western horizon and away from city lights. It would be prudent to use binoculars as it could be difficult to find the comet without them. “.

It’s interesting to note that 12P will be visible on April 8 at the same time as the eclipse, but astronomers caution against allowing this to “overshadow” the eagerly anticipated coronal overlap.

The primary focus during those four minutes should be on the eclipse itself, according to Chodas and Farnocchia. “The comet and a number of planets should be fairly easy to find,” they said.

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