This week, observers in the Northern Hemisphere have a chance to spot a comet with a glowing green tail in the early morning hours as it approaches the Sun. Comet Nishimura, or C/2023 P1, will not be visible from the Southern Hemisphere until late October.
When should I look for comets?
Comet Nishimura will be visible in the morning before sunrise until September 17th, when it will be closest to the sun. The best time to see it is early in the morning, but later in the week it becomes harder to see as it gets closer to the sun. If the comet continues to pass close to the Sun after September 17, it will be difficult to see in the Northern Hemisphere, but it may be visible from the Southern Hemisphere.
How can I find comets?
If you look to the northeast about an hour before sunrise, the comet should be low in the sky in the constellation Leo. Use a stargazing app to know your exact location from your current location.
If you can’t spot the comet without visual aids, try looking through binoculars. You should then be able to see the shape of the comet’s tail. To the naked eye, it may look like a fuzzy blob. “Predictions say it may only become visible to the naked eye, but it will become more visible to the naked eye.” say “binoculars” don polacco At the University of Warwick, UK. “You never know about comets.”
Is Comet Nishimura rare?
Comet Nishimura was discovered just a month ago by amateur astronomer Hideo Nishimura. For this reason, comets are extremely rare. There are usually more warnings between when a comet is spotted and when it is best visible in the sky.
But in general, comets visible to the naked eye are not particularly rare. Another green comet passed close to Earth earlier this year. However, this particular one takes 437 years to orbit the sun, so it will be her 25th century to come back.
Why is Nishimura green?
Comets appear green because their coma, or gas surrounding their core, contains a relatively rare type of carbon gas called diatomic carbon, which is two carbon atoms bonded together.
What is a comet?
Comets are balls of ice and rock that orbit the sun from the Oort cloud, the outer region of the solar system. As it approaches the Sun, the ice turns into gas and flows out like a tail. We can see this from Earth from time to time, but it’s difficult to predict how easily it will be.