Comet Leonard Passing By

Comet Leonard

The news has said this comet is dangerous! Is our fate the same as the dinosaurs? Maybe not. The bright Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard), also known as comet Leonard, flew by the globular cluster Messier 3 in Canes Venatici on Dec. 2. Both objects was visible in binoculars from dark-sky locations, and was close enough together to view in a single telescope field of view for a few hours. The comet will be visible with binoculars in dark-sky conditions Friday Dec. 3. 

The big brains all over are interested in a variety of information concerning comets. Astrophysicist and founder of The Virtual Telescope Project Gianluca Masi told the media that Leonard is a long-period comet, meaning it doesn’t come around often. In fact, the comet hasn’t passed by Earth in over 70,000 years, and after it passes by the sun, it will be ejected from our solar system, never to be seen on Earth again. The facination with this is not just with scientists.

But, we will have close to two weeks to get a look. Through Dec. 13, the comet can be observed in the morning sky using binoculars or a telescope. On Dec. 12, it will be 21.7 million miles away from Earth, the closest it will get to the planet. The news has made the comet seem dangerous and would hit our planet. Why not, fear sells advertisements.

The comet is named after Astronomer Greg Leonard who discovered it in early January of this year. “During the first two weeks of December, Comet Leonard will be accessible to early risers, visible a couple of hours before sunrise, low in the east-northeast sky,” reported, “It will track through the constellations Coma Berenices, Boötes and Serpens Caput.” The good news is, the moon will be absent during the twilight hours making the sky extra dark. But, it will not hit the earth so we are ok for now.