Solar storm just hit Comet Nishimura! It cut off its tail, but comeback was dazzling
Comet Nishimura's incredible journey through space, from its amateur discovery to a stunning solar storm surprise, captivates skywatchers worldwide.
In a rare event that has galvanised skywatchers and sent them scooting for their telescopes and binoculars in order to cacth more than just a glimpse of a new comet that has just appeared. In fact, people all over the world are taking amazing pictures of Comet Nishimura as it travels through space. This comet was sighted for the first time in August, 2023 by a sky-watcher named Hideo Nishimura from Kakegawa City, Japan. He used a regular camera with a special lens to spot it. Finding a comet like this with a regular camera is a big deal because most new comets are discovered with fancy telescopes. This comet is especially important because a strange interaction with a solar storm was spotted.
A Celestial Show Approaches
For the past few weeks, folks who love comets and taking pictures of the night sky have been keeping an eye on Comet Nishimura. They've taken some really cool photos of it.
According to Space.com, In the coming weeks, it should be easier to see Comet Nishimura. This icy space rock is getting closer to Earth, and it will be closest on September 12. Then, on September 17, it will come closest to the Sun, which is called perihelion. Right now, you can spot the comet in the Leo constellation before sunrise, in the early morning.
Tips for Stargazers
To see this awesome sight, look to the east in the early morning hours. You might need a stargazing app to find it in the sky. If you have binoculars or a telescope, you'll get an even better view. With binoculars or a smaller telescope, you'll see a blurry, greenish ball. But if you have a strong telescope, you might be able to see the comet's tail.
A comet expert named Michael Jäger from Austria has taken many breathtaking photos of Comet Nishimura this month. He even caught the comet losing its tail because of a strong solar storm.
Another sky enthusiast, Nick Bull, also known as Stonehenge Dronescapes, shared a photo of the comet over Stonehenge on September 6. It was perfectly framed above the ancient stone monument.
Stuart Atkinson, who enjoys studying the sky as a hobby, captured some colorful pictures of Comet Nishimura on September 5. His photos show a clear split in the comet's tail.