Named Comet Linear, the green comet will pass by Earth tomorrow and will be visible to those living in the northern hemisphere of our planet. The surprise is that it appears it will glow one hundred times brighter than astronomers have expected.
Comet Linear has already passed once by Earth last week at a distance of 3.3 million miles, and people from the southern hemisphere were lucky enough to witness its show. However, the green comet will grace the northerners with its presence as well. Those of you who would like to take a look will be needing a pair of binoculars because the moon will light up the sky. Additionally, you have to make sure you are in an area that is not polluted by other sources of light, such as bright cities.
The comet will gain height on our sky with each passing day, and experts recommend us to view it one hour and a half earlier than sunrise. Comet Linear is expected to pass right next to Saturn and Mars, as they can be seen on our sky. Those who will gaze at the phenomenon will also get a glimpse of the star Antares.
After you identify this triangle formed of Mars, Saturn and Antares, you will be able to see the green comet rising left of the formation. Astronomers expect it to pass on Saturn’s line on Tuesday and between Antares and Saturn on Thursday.
According to Kelly Beatty, Sky & Telescope senior editor, enthusiasts will be able to see Comet Linear as a bright spot on the night sky, and not the traditional long tail comets as portrayed as having. This happens because of the light is concentrated in a way on the comet that does not permit revealing its tail. The light is spread out as a glow around the celestial object, and not focused on a single point. As a result, the light is dimmer in spite of the fact that Comet Linear is bigger than the moon.
Its green color is the result of the reaction between sunlight and diatomic carbon molecules that form the comet. However, only those who will gaze through a telescope will be able to see the greenish glow.
The length of time of the comet’s appearance is not yet determined, mostly because it appeared quite quickly. It has reportedly passed the closest to our planet on Monday and at the moment, it is traveling away from Earth in the opposite direction of the Sun.
Those interested have time until the end of this week to take a look at the beautiful and icy celestial body.
Image Source: independent.co.uk