Across Northern Hemisphere, Time to Catch New Comet before Vanishing for 400 Years
Florida, 7 Sep (ONA) --- A newly discovered comet is swinging through our cosmic neighbourhood for the first time in more than 400 years.
Stargazers across the Northern Hemisphere should catch a glimpse as soon as possible, either this week or early next because it will be another 400 years before the wandering ice ball returns.
The comet, which is kilometer-sized (1/2-mile), will sweep safely past Earth on 12 September 2023, passing within 78 million miles (125 million kilometers).
Early risers should look toward the northeastern horizon about 1 1/2 hours before dawn — to be specific, less than 10 or so degrees above the horizon near the constellation Leo. The comet will brighten as it gets closer to the sun, but will drop lower in the sky, making it tricky to spot.
The comet will come closest to the sun — closer than Mercury is — on about 17 September 2023 before departing the solar system. That’s assuming it doesn’t disintegrate when it buzzes the sun.
Stargazers have been tracking the rare green comet ever since its discovery by an amateur Japanese astronomer in mid-August. The Nishimura comet now bears his name.
The comet last visited about 430 years ago. That’s about a decade or two before Galileo invented the telescope.