Comet Leonard to be closest to Earth tomorrow; Check when and how to watch livestream
Comet Leonard will make the closest approach to Earth on December 12. Know when you can watch livestream and how.
The brightest comet of 2021, C/2021 A1 Leonard, will fly closest to Earth tomorrow, that is December 12. Comet Leonard will be coming within 21 million miles (34 million kilometers) of the Earth. It was discovered by astronomer Gregory J. Leonard on January 3 at the Mount Lemmon Observatory and is making the closest approach towards Earth in almost 70,000 years. People will be able to watch it via a livestream too.
The Comet Leonard's irregular orbit gives it a unique appearance to Earth. It is a once in a long time opportunity. Nobody alive today on Earth will ever see the comet again because, once it reaches the inner solar system, the Sun's gravity will pull it out into deep space, where it will most likely stay for tens of thousands of years, give or take.
When and how can we watch Comet Lenonard?
The space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) said that it is difficult to predict the brightness of a comet, hence its visibility is uncertain. Though the comet is expected to be visible in the sky during the evening, especially right after or a few hours post-sunset. It is good news for skywatchers, as you can even expect to see the comet Leonard through the naked eyes. But it will be tricky to watch it with naked eyes, however, it is advised that you should use a telescope or binoculars to enjoy the rare celestial spectacle.
From December 14, the comet will be visible in the sky during the evening time and will be best visible on December 17, astronomers suggested. While, comet Leonard will be closest to Earth on December 12. In the northern hemisphere, people will be able to witness it first in the southern hemisphere. Still, if you are worrying about missing this opportunity, then know that you can watch the Virtual Telescope Project livestream from its observatory in Rome.
You can see the Comet Lenonard from the first weeks of December in the east-northeast quadrant of the sky. During its closest approach to Earth, the comet will pass between Arcturus, the brightest star in the Bootes constellation, and the handle of the Big Dipper.
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