Peruvians witnessed a remarkable passage of Comet Leonard during Christmas Eve | Science
On December 24 at 7.40pm, while the majority of Peruvians were preparing to welcome Christmas, two astrophotographers noticed something extraordinary in the sky: Comet Leonard.
The celestial body has been observed in different parts of Peru during the past days. However, the last photo taken in Cachicadán (La Libertad) on Christmas Eve is perhaps the most detailed and fascinating yet.
The image was obtained thanks to the experience and processing ability of Romel Villanueva Luján, from Mochi Observatory and Planetarium From Trujillo, and Luis Calle Rosasco, from Santa Eulalia astronomical base (a base).
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The appearance of Comet Leonard during that date “raises a sort of ‘modern version’ of the Star of Bethlehem,” BASE reported.
In this image, obtained by the telescope and eight minutes of exposure, the head of the object, also called a coma, can be seen, the green color of which is due to the decomposition of bicarbonate caused by sunlight.
You can also see the broad tail of dust and gas ejecting in the direction opposite to the sun.
According to astronomical calculations, this cosmic visitor will be visible from Earth Until January 3, 2022, when you approach the star king and begin your return to the Oort cloud, a region that surrounds the solar system and is filled with icy bodies.
His journey from there took about 40 thousand years.
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Comet C / 2021 A1 (Leonard) can be distinguished with binoculars or even with the naked eye in the part southwest clear skyAn hour after sunset. It is necessary to be in a place away from the city so that the lights do not obstruct the watch.
At first glance, this celestial body can be seen as a diffuse star, but the use of binoculars makes it possible to distinguish its coma from its tail.
Seeing Comet Leonard is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as it won’t return to the inner solar system for 80,000 years.
If you can’t get it, you can wait for the next comet to pass bright enough and close to Earth, which happens about every five years.
You can expect less, since only last year we “visited” Comet Neuss, which looked much larger and brighter than Leonard’s.