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For now, Comet Leonard can only be seen with a telescope

For now, Comet Leonard can only be seen with a telescope

“You can’t see it with your eyes, you can see it with binoculars. Also, you need to have a dark sky. And if you want to see a comet with its tail, you still need a telescope with a diameter of four inches or more.” Suchan explained.

However, he recalled that there is still the possibility that humans see the comet with the naked eye. “With comets, it can really change dramatically,” he said.

“It is possible that in the very dark sky it can be seen faintly with the naked eye this week. A small binocular will offer a very nice view, but it is impressive in a large telescope, ”described astronomer and photographer Martin Gembec on the ČAS website.

Look for the comet in the morning sky. “Even at night, the night is less than five degrees above the horizon. The comet’s height at the beginning of astronomical twilight is still 40 ° on Monday, December 6, but, for example, on Friday, December 10 it will be only the middle and Sunday morning we have to consider it, it will be only about 10 ° high at sunrise, “continued Gembec.

Comet C / 2021 A1 (Leonard) – Location December 6-12 at 6 a.m. M.

Photo: Astro.cz/Stellarium/Martin Gembec

Gembec also noted that Comet Leonard appeared to have recently passed in the sky around globular cluster M3, as shown in the opening photo of this article.

Sunday, only 35 million kilometers

Comet C / 2021 A1 (Leonard) was discovered by American researcher Gregory Leonard on January 3 of this year at the Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona. While at the time of discovery it was 737.5 million kilometers from Earth, on December 12 it will be closer to only 34.9 million kilometers.

The comet makes its closest approach to the Sun on January 3, 2022, at a distance of 92 million kilometers from our star. According to scientists, the comet likely made an orbit around the Sun in the distant past.

The orbit of Comet Leonard in the solar system

Photo: Catalina Sky Survey