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The comet’s star is visible to the naked eye after a few months. “A show you can’t miss.”

The comet’s star is visible to the naked eye after a few months. “A show you can’t miss.”

It looks like 2024 will be an unforgettable year for astronomy enthusiastsSolar eclipse And theNorthern lights,There is the possibility of enjoying a new one An unmissable offer: a The comet’s star is visible to the naked eyeWhich will fly above Earth’s skies within a few months. In fact, there has already been a transit of Comet 12P Pons/Brook in April.

However, this other comet promises to create a more dramatic picture, first of all, because its passage is much longer underbut also why it should generate a glow Very bright It is easily visible to anyone.

The comet’s star is visible to the naked eye and will arrive within the next few months

the Cometa C/2023 A3 Tsuchenshan-Atlas It was discovered in 2023 by the South African Atlas Telescope and the Zijinshan Observatory in China a short time apart, thus taking its name from both. This discovery immediately aroused the curiosity of the scientific community, due to the estimated long orbital period 26,000 years And the exceptional size of the core promises unparalleled brightness.

However, it must be kept in mind that comets are not easily predicted and estimates of their size are never complete, also depending on their proximity to the Sun at the time of their discovery. However, according to predictions, it seems that all the cards are on the table for an unmissable show, so much so that the broadcaster has been identified as the culprit. BBC Come “Comet of the century“.

From the latest reports on the path of the comet star, it appears that the latter is close to the planet Jupiter, at a distance that is still too great to really make certain predictions. Even if we have to wait for the next few months for more information, astronomers agree on the size of the comet, which will therefore most likely be Brighter Of all that has been observed in recent years.

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In particular, there was talk of such a bright comet Brighter starsThat is, those that we see from Earth without having to resort to instruments such as telescopes, so even if their size has been overestimated, it is still almost certain that they will be an exceptional event. In detail, the estimates made by experts place brightness Of this comet between – 0.1 and – 6.6, but that’s not all. In addition to the fact that this is a truly rare event, due to its very long orbital period, comet C/2023 A3 Tuchinshan-ATLAS is also expected to create a picturesque path, perhaps comparable to that of planet Earth. Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. However, the latter has created some memorable images thanks to Twin tailsIt is not certain that the next comet also shares this characteristic.

However, it is estimated that the comet will pass by Very close to the sun (at a distance similar to that of Mercury), this will cause ice particles to evaporate, contributing to the creation of… A trail of dust and ice Of unusual dimensions. However, this particular pass at such a short distance from the Sun risks reducing the comet’s brightness, which could exacerbate the problem. It can fall apart. Therefore, we have to wait until the observers update their estimates.

With a little optimism – even the scientific community is leaning towards this hypothesis – we should be able to see comet C/2023 A3 Tuchinshan-ATLAS. To the naked eye At least from the Northern Hemisphere, then Also from Europe. Here are the dates to keep in mind.

  • September 27, 2024: The comet will make its way closest to the Sun and astronomers will learn how it reacts to high temperatures, whether it is alive in its majestic wake or dying. But even now, it will be possible to observe them using telescopes.
  • October 2, 2024: The remaining comet C/2023 A3 Twhatsinshan-ATLAS will come closer and closer to Earth until we can hope to observe it during the night.
  • October 12, 2024: The passage of the comet will be in Best TimeWith a dense trail that can be seen with the naked eye from all parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • October 13, 2024: The comet will begin to move away from our planet, and gradually become less visible.
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There are only a few months left until the comet’s arrival, but some time before then, we should be able to find out its actual size from updated forecasts.