The comet was discovered only in August and is passing Earth for the first time in more than four centuries
A visitor from the depths of space is heading towards our planet, and if you can’t see her, you’ll have to wait 400 years for the next opportunity.
The newly discovered Comet Nishimura will be visible to stargazers across the Northern Hemisphere over the next two days as it passes, at no risk to us, in front of Earth on September 12.
The comet, with a diameter of one kilometer, will travel 125 million kilometers from us and will be visible with the naked eye, although it will be necessary to use equipment to monitor it in detail.
“You need good binoculars to spot it and know where to look,” explained Paul Chodas, director of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
It will become increasingly brighter as it gradually approaches the Sun, which it will approach on September 17, before returning outside the solar system.
What needs to be done to locate Nishimura?
To observe it from the Northern Hemisphere, you have to look to the northeastern horizon about an hour and a half before sunrise.
second Planetary SocietyWe must look for it as it rises between the signs of Cancer and Leo and approaches the planet Venus.
Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi, founder of the virtual telescope project, told the Associated Press that this week represents the “last possible opportunity” to see the comet from the northern hemisphere, before it is lost in the glare of the sun.
He said: “The comet looks exceptional at the moment, with a very long and tight tail, and it is interesting to see it with a telescope.”
If it crosses the Sun, it should be visible in the Southern Hemisphere – in late evening twilight – by the end of the month.
The comet was discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Hideo Nishimura, and is therefore named after him.
The last visit to the comet was about 430 years ago, a decade or two before Galileo invented the telescope, Chodas said.
“Internet trailblazer. Travelaholic. Passionate social media evangelist. Tv advocate.”