Amateur Japanese astronomer Hideo Nishimura has made an impressive discovery in the night sky. On August 11, Nishimura spotted a newly-discovered green comet, now named Comet Nishimura. What makes this discovery even more remarkable is that Nishimura found the comet using only a Canon digital camera and a telephoto lens, taking long exposure shots.
Comets are celestial objects made up of chunks of dirty ice that have been around since our solar system’s inception. Typically, comets are located too far away from the sun to be observed, but sometimes they come closer to the sun, becoming visible from Earth.
The fact that Nishimura discovered this comet is quite surprising, considering the prevalence of automated telescopes these days. However, his hard work paid off. Currently, the comet is only visible from the northern hemisphere before sunrise. Those who are interested should mark their calendars for Tuesday morning, as it will be the best time to catch a glimpse of the comet since it will be closest to Earth.
Furthermore, on September 17, the comet will be at its closest point to the sun and will then become visible from the southern hemisphere. To locate the comet, the best place to look is towards the constellation Leo. For a better view, binoculars or a small telescope are recommended, as the comet appears green in photographs but appears as a fuzzy white glow to the naked eye.
This particular comet takes approximately 430 years to orbit the sun, with its last visible appearance dating back to the late 1500s. Therefore, this is a rare opportunity for stargazers to witness Comet Nishimura, as it will not be visible from Earth again until the 2450s. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event.
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