An incoming comet could shine brighter in the sky than some stars
C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) It is a comet from the Oort Cloud that was first seen by C/2023 A3 on January 9, 2023 from the Purple Mountain Observatory in China.
It was later believed to have been lost before the team reacquainted it at the Asteroid Land-Imp Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescope in South Africa, On February 22, 2023.
Thus, his name is the sum of both institutes (“zijinshan”). (紫金山), in Mandarin, means “purple mountain”). “C” is used for comets with an open trajectory (ie those likely to escape the sun’s orbit), “2023” is the year of discovery, and “A3” shows that this is the third discovery in the first two weeks of January (B is the second half of the month of January, C the first half of February, etc.).
Very bright and fast
The comet’s closest approach to the Sun, or perihelion, won’t be until September 28, 2024, before it meets at its closest point to Earth a few weeks later on October 13. then, A comet can shine brighter in the night sky than many stars.
These estimates depend on many factors, including that the brightness will be more diffuse than the star, since we are talking about a moving object that may have a tail, rather than a single light source.
The celestial body is traveling at a speed of about 300,000 kilometers per hour
In addition to its impressive brightness, the C / 2023 A3 travels particularly quickly: approx 290.664 kilometers per hour, is advancing around the solar system on a journey that will take 80,660 years. Right now, in early 2023, it lies somewhere between the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter.
How do you see it?
If the comet is to finally complete its long journey to us, the best times to see it should be the days before or after. Until October 13, 2024. It will appear in the dawn sky near the constellations Hydra and Crater.
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