The comet will be visible this month

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The “Devil Comet” has arrived.
Officially known as Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks (a much tamer, more boring name), the celestial rock is making its regular 71-year trip around the sun, passing by our planet this month.
Over the last week, skywatchers have been flooding social media with photos of the comet, which should remain visible through the end of March.
For now, binoculars or a telescope will be necessary to find the comet in the west-northwest sky, where it will be moving across the Great Square of Pegasus constellation into Aries, according to Space.com.
By the end of the month, the comet should be visible to the naked eye.
As always, clear skies will be necessary, so make sure to keep an eye on the weather.
Come April, Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks will fade into the glow of the sun, reaching its closest approach to our star on April 21.
However, those in the path of totality during the April 8 total solar eclipse may be able to glimpse the comet as the sun’s light is temporarily blocked out, adding one awesome sight to another.
Aiding astronomers, the comet is expected to be a little brighter than usual this time around.
In July 2023, the comet underwent an outburst, blowing off gas and dust that brightened it by about 100 times, according to Astronomy.com.
That outburst distorted the envelope of gas and dust around the comet, known as the coma, into a kind of horned shape – hence the “Devil Comet” nickname.
And while NASA has classified the comet as a near-Earth object — potentially adding a bit of devilishness to the thing — the space agency said there’s no risk of a collision with our planet.
For most of us, this will be the only chance to see this particular comet, which won’t return again until August 2095.
But those looking to catch another comet won’t need to wait long: This fall, Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) will be making a close pass to Earth, and is expected to put on another good show for stargazers.
–Jamie Hale covers travel and the outdoors and co-hosts the Peak Northwest podcast.
Reach him at 503-294-4077, jhale@oregonian.com or @HaleJamesB.
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This is the “Devil Comet.”.

During its 71-year orbit around the sun, Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, the official name of this much more subdued celestial rock, will pass by Earth this month.

Skywatchers have been posting pictures of the comet on social media for the past week; it should be visible until the end of March. As of right now, Space . com reports that the comet is moving across the Great sq\. of Pegasus constellation and into Aries, so one will need to use binoculars or a telescope to locate it in the west-northwest sky. The comet should be visible to the unaided eye by the end of the month.

As usual, clear skies are required, so be sure to monitor the weather.

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks will disappear into the sun’s glow in April, approaching our star closest on April 21. Nonetheless, as the sun’s light is momentarily obscured on April 8th, individuals within the eclipse’s path of totality might be able to catch a glimpse of the comet, adding yet another incredible sight to the mix.

This time around, the comet is predicted to be slightly brighter than usual, which will help astronomers. According to Astronomy . com, the comet experienced an outburst in July 2023 that blasted off gas and dust, increasing its brightness by a factor of about 100. The comet known as the “Devil Comet” got its nickname because of the way that outburst twisted the coma, or envelope of gas and dust surrounding it, into the shape of a horn.

Furthermore, NASA stated that there is no chance of a collision with our planet despite the comet’s designation as a near-Earth object, which may lend it a hint of devilishness.

Since this particular comet won’t be seen again until August 2095, for the majority of us, this will be our only opportunity to see it. Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is scheduled to pass close to Earth this autumn and is predicted to provide another exciting show for astronomers, so those hoping to catch another comet won’t have to wait long.

Jackie Hale is a travel and outdoor journalist and co-host of the Peak Northwest podcast. Contact him via Twitter @HaleJamesB, jhale@oregonian . com, or 503-294-4077.

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