(Mirror Daily, United States) – Comet Linear will emerge in the night sky next week, and it will be a hundred times brighter than the astronomers first expected. The green comet will be visible in the northern hemisphere.
Those living in the southern hemisphere were privileged enough to witness the bright celestial occurrence this week after the object passed our planet from a safe 3.3 million miles distance.
At the present moment, the Comet Linear is rapidly moving into view in the northern hemisphere. The only downside to all of this is the fact that sky gazers will need at least a pair of binoculars to witness our visitor since the sky will be illuminated by the moon.
Moreover, individuals who are eager to witness the event must find a dark place, unpolluted by any sources of light. The best time to be out and comet gazing is around an hour and a half before sunrise.
Each morning the green comet will be observed higher in the sky than in the previous one. It will pass right by where Mars and Saturn are visible. People will also be able to see Antares near the other two, forming a sort of small triangle.
The Comet Linear will climb left of this triangle. On Tuesday, it will be approximately on Saturn’s line, while on Thursday it will be visible along the line that connects Saturn and Antares.
The senior editor of the Sky & Telescope magazine, Kelly Beatty, is advising any enthusiasts to expect to see only a bright spot. According to him, Comet Linear will not have an obvious long tail as people would presume.
The lack of a tail is caused by the way in which light is concentrated on the surface of the comet. Instead of being focused on just one point, it is spread out in a sort of round glow. While it’s size is larger than the moon, the light emitted is considerably dimmer.
The diatomic carbon molecules from its componence react with the sunlight and create a greenish, fluorescent color. Unfortunately, the green shade will only be visible through a telescope.
The astronomers are not sure how long the comet will remain on orbit given its unexpected surge. On Monday, it passed the closest point near the Earth, and it is currently heading away from the sun and our planet. The green comet will be visible in the northern hemisphere until the end of the week.
On Tuesday, the PanSTARRS comet passed near the Earth at a distance of only 2.2 million miles.
Image source: Wikimedia