(CNN) – There is something new Kite In view and December is your only chance to notice it before it disappears forever. Astronomers say comet Leonard It is the best and brightest comet we will see in 2021.
The comet was first discovered by astronomer Greg Leonard in January. According to Sky & Telescope, the celestial body that has been orbiting the Sun for the past 35,000 years will not see it again if it approaches our star on January 3rd.
When the comet approaches the sun, it glows, so the weeks leading up to this event are best to watch.
It is a high-velocity comet that orbits the inner solar system at 71 kilometers per second, but due to its distance from Earth it appears to be a slow-moving object, according to Earthsky.
Comet Leonard will approach Earth on December 12 and reach 34 million kilometers from our planet. Then, it will pass through Venus on December 18th. The comet will be visible in the skies of the northern and southern hemispheres this month.
How to see Leonard
According to NASA, it is difficult to predict how well we can see a comet, but telescopes will be needed to detect it. Look for an object that looks like a fuzzy star.
“In the first weeks of December, the comet Leonard can be seen at dawn in the east, moving between the arms of Arcturus and Big Tipper,” the company shared in a post. “It approaches the horizon as it nears the Earth, which means it is bright, but very challenging to observe. The brightness gradually fades. “
As the comets get closer to the Sun, these giant icebergs break up some of their objects and form a halo or coma around the object. Dust and gas flow behind the comets and form their very long tails. Most comets form from the icy edge of our solar system and are only visible to us when they travel through the inner solar system where the Earth is located.
Comet Leonard is visible to the naked eye, but if you miss the once-in-a-lifetime experience, the Virtual Telescope Project will share live feed from its observatory in Rome.