COMET LEONARD WILL BE SEEN IN THE SKIES AT ITS BRIGHTEST THIS END OF 2021
“According to PAG-ASA, the best time to watch out for Leonard in the Philippines is towards the end of the month in the southwestern horizon, from December 21 – 31, between 6:28 PM to 6:43 PM.”
Calling all astrophiles! Good news from up above, C/2021 A1 (Leonard) A.K.A. 2021’s best comet will be visible this month. Last December 12, it will be its closest to Earth with a distance of 21.7 million miles.
The comet was named after Greg Leonard, a senior research specialist in Mount Lemmon Observatory after he discovered its existence in the beginning of the year 2021. After a whole the year, this faint celestial object found on Jupiter’s orbit will now pass the Earth as a bright comet.
Did you know that comet Leonard is already 4.5 billion years old and have been travelling towards the Sun for about 35,000 years now? This year will most likely be the end of its journey because on January 3, 2022 it will be expected to reach its perihelion—closest distance to the Sun.
Image Credit & Copyright: Dan Bartlett
“You might spot it with the unaided eye, but more likely, you’re going to need binoculars [or] a telescope.” Ed Krupp, an astronomer, and director at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles said in an interview with NPR.
According to PAG-ASA, the best time to watch out for Leonard in the Philippines is towards the end of the month in the southwestern horizon, from December 21 – 31, between 6:28 PM to 6:43 PM.
For those who want to watch the comet via their screens, no problem because Gianluca Masi a Rome-based astronomer will broadcast the event as part of his Virtual Telescope Project. He has already started his comet Leonard series last December 3 and will continue the telecast this December 8. Further announcements of whether he will broadcast for the rest of the month are not yet confirmed. This is where you can access his videos: https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/webtv/.
This natural phenomenon that will happen before the year ends, somehow reminds us that whatever happens, we should not forget to pause, look up, and realize that whatever the distance and no matter how many years it takes we will get there. Just like Leonard.