Newly Discovered Comet Nishimura to Make Close Pass by Earth
A rare celestial event is set to captivate skywatchers next week as a newly discovered comet named Nishimura will be visible as it passes by Earth. The comet, first observed by Japanese space photographer Hideo Nishimura in early August, has been steadily increasing in brightness as it travels through the inner solar system in an orbit around the sun.
On Tuesday, the comet will make its closest approach to Earth, coming within a distance of 78 million miles. But that is not all – Nishimura will get even closer to the sun, passing within just 21 million miles on September 17.
This comet, which completes one orbit about every 430 to 440 years, will be a challenging sight for observers as it is barely bright enough to be visible from Earth and will be moving close to the horizon. To catch a glimpse, binoculars and dark skies away from city lights provide optimal viewing conditions.
As the comet travels through the inner solar system, the tail of Nishimura always points away from the sun, thanks to the sunlight pushing on the dust particles. While it may appear greenish in photos, experts predict that it will appear nearly colorless or slightly pink through binoculars.
However, as the comet gets closer to the sun and the horizon, visibility may become more difficult. The intense heat from passing by the sun poses a potential threat to the comet’s survival, but experts expect it to endure the encounter.
If it does survive, Nishimura will pass over to the far side of the sun from Earth in early October. Sky enthusiasts in the Southern Hemisphere will get a chance to witness this celestial wonder in November when it will grace the morning sky.
But Nishimura is not the only comet making headlines. Over the next 16 months, several comets, including Comet Pons-Brooks, Comet olbers, and Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS, are expected to appear in the night sky, offering astronomers and stargazers plenty of celestial treats to look forward to.
So mark your calendars and prepare to be amazed as Nishimura creates a cosmic spectacle, reminding us of the wonders of the universe and the marvels that lie beyond our own planet.
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