A big question for astronauts in the coming weeks is what will happen to a newly spotted comet that will travel to a late April meeting with the sun. The new visitor has entered the solar system from the Oort planet.
The Oort universe is a large circular planet with a thick wall, thought to be the primary source of billions of comets. It is believed that the outer limits of this comet planet can reach the sky for about 15 trillion miles.
The latest addition is a Pan-STARRS comet, named C / 2021 O3 (Pan-STARRS), which was spotted on July 26, 2021 by astronomers using the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, and Without the ‘Pan-STARRS’ telescope, a 70.9-inch (1.8 meter) Ritchey-Chretien reflector installed in Haleakala, Hawaii.
Select: Amazing images of Comet Leonard in the night sky
See the comet?
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If you are looking for binoculars or telescope to see the comet Pan-STARRS or other objects in the night sky, check out our guide for the best binoculars and telescopes . If you are interested in photographic equipment, our best photographic equipment for astrophotography and the best lenses for photographic guides can help you prepare for the future celestial vision.
When it was discovered last summer, Pan -STARRS was 402 million miles (648 million km) from the sun – outside of Jupiter’s orbit – and 355 million miles from Earth. At that time, the comet shone about 400,000 times brighter than the weakest star visible to the naked eye.
But in its next perihelion (closest to the sun) on April 21, its distance from the sun will decrease by about 26.7 million miles (42.9 million km), lying directly within in the orbit of Mercury. A large change in the distance of the sun would normally allow a comet to increase its natural luminosity by about 16 degrees, which can be seen by the naked eye. In addition, PanSTARRS will be approaching Earth on May 8 at a distance of 56 million miles (90 million km).
Out of the eye
Now, thanks to the comet’s close proximity to the sun it can’t be observed. In fact, the latest ‘reliable’ experience of it is from Feb. 1 by the Japanese owner, Ken-ichi Kadota. At that time, he was faint. It would be helpful if we could look at the comet’s brightness at the moment to see how it is growing or whether it is shining according to the predictions, however, this is not possible; we can only pick up on what is happening in relation to the Pan-STARRS process to date.
After orbiting the sun and moving back into the sky, Pan-STARRS will slowly move from the brightness of the sun to the end of this month, into the evening sky.
At the time, it was probably about the sixth largest, indicating that the naked eye could see the dark sky, although it was better seen with binoculars or telescopes. . We need to keep in mind that the greater the degree of light an object is in the sky. The lower the image size, the brighter the object. The brightest stars in the sky are black or the first large. The weakest stars visible to the naked eye on dark nights are the sixth largest. The first high stars are 100 times brighter than the stars of the sixth mass).
It is not easy to see
The sheer magnitude of the spectrum always makes Pan-STARRS a good comet from the point of view of an astronomer. But at this time, it is not seen that this comet will grow in the way it is observed comet NEOWISE is in 2020 or so comet Leonard the month of December last caught the attention of the public. And because it is so low in the northwestern sky, it is very difficult to find stars.
Perhaps your best time to see will come on the evening of May 2nd, when you can use the three eyewitness creatures to help ‘point the way’ to Pan-STARRS. All three are the moon, the planet Mercury and the Pleiades star group.
Using binoculars, about 45 to 50 minutes after sunset, look low over the northwest. You can easily see the slower phase of the moon, more than two days before the new phase. Then, at 4 degrees on the north side of the moon, you will see a bright ‘star’ with a yellow-orange glow. This is the planet Mercury. And at about 3 degrees north of Mercury, you should see a small silver planet of stars in the Pleiades.
Now, using the distance between the Pleiades and the position of the moon as a kind of celestial measurement, look at that part of the sky with binoculars at the same distance – instead of 6 degrees – to the north of the Pleiades. If the Pan-STARRS comet lives up to its low spirits, you may see a bright spot around it with a short tail that stands directly from the side.
It’s high … far away … it’s gone!
In the coming nights, the comet will move rapidly north and rise high in the northwestern sky. His path is expected to take between the stars Perseus (May 4 to 10), and Camelopardalis (May 11 to 28). On May 8, which is the closest day to Earth, Pan-STARRS will be in the circle for observers living north of 40-degree latitude; That is to say, it shall remain in the air all the night, neither rising nor setting. Eventually, it will recede from the sun and Earth, and return to the farthest reaches of the solar system.
On May 27, it will be very close to Polaris, the North Star (8.5 degrees) but by that time it will have faded since the beginning of the moon. The estimates are currently down to 7-magnitude on May 7, eight-magnitude on May 13, nine-magnitude on May 19 and 10-magnitude on May 27.
It is unpredictable
However, even though the document is written here about the upcoming Pan-STARRS operation, it is said that comets are the culprits. To confirm the arrival of the capricious comets, comet NEOWISE and comet Leonard won big and became much brighter than previously predicted.
None of these comets are expected to give much evidence, but at his best NEOWISE reminded many of the limited power of the Hale-Bopp comet, although Leonard showed a few. unexpectedly the performance did more than double its expected brightness when playing in many streams. the kinks and bumps that changed the shape of its narrow blue ion tail.
That being said, the comet Pan-STARRS can flash quickly and give us real excitement. However, there are few celestial events that are more likely to awaken deception than these earthly journeys.
Unfortunately, Pan-STARRS’s performance isn’t very good. As mentioned earlier, the orbital figures show that they are coming directly from the Oort planet; therefore, he walks closer to the sun. From looking at other comets with the same grandchild, we know they are not good people.
Those ‘new’ comets traveling in parabolic circles can be covered with solvents such as ice, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. These snows evaporate from the sun, giving a distant comet a short rise in brightness that can amplify negative emotions. Perhaps the most famous example of these comet-flops the famous Kohoutek in 1973.
Oort’s other planets, which were very close to the sun, were shattered before they could fly around. Comet ISON in 2013 did so. Unfortunately, some astronomers believe this could be a Pan-STARRS event. Let’s just wait and see.
If she could survive, that was her only visit during the day. Then, Pan-STARRS will be thrown on the road to completely release it from the solar system and never return.
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Joe Rao works as a tutor and guest instructor at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy no Makahiki Natural Historyka Almanac of Farmers and other books. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and above Facebook.