OAN’s Brooke Mallory
1:36 PM – Sunday, September 10, 2023
A comet that has not been observed on Earth for more than 400 years will soon be visible to those in the Northern Hemisphere.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the uncommon green comet, known as Nishimura, is named after the amateur Japanese astronomer who made the discovery in mid-August.
It is roughly half a mile in size and will pass within 78 million miles of Earth on September 12th.
In order to have the chance of seeing Nishimura, people in the Northern Hemisphere will need to wake up about 90 minutes before dawn and look north about 10 degrees above the horizon, near the constellation Leo.
As Nishimura approaches the sun, it will brighten and then become harder to see as it descends lower in the sky.
The Associated Press was informed by Paul Chodas, the director of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, that anybody who wishes to view the comet on September 12th should be prepared.
“You really need a good pair of binoculars to pick it out, and you also need to know where to look,” Chodas said.
On September 17th, Nishimura will pass closer to the sun than Mercury, and if it does not disintegrate during its visits to the sun, it will leave the solar system.
According to Chodas, the comet is “likely to survive its passage” and if it does, then it will be visible to observers in the Southern Hemisphere towards the end of September.
The last time that the comet came this close to Earth in the Northern Hemisphere was 430 years ago, according to Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi, who founded the Virtual Telescope Project.
He stated to the press that next week will be “the last, feasible chances” to observe the comet.
“The comet looks amazing right now, with a long, highly structured tail, a joy to image with a telescope,” he added.
The report asserts that, considering the number of professional sky surveys that utilize powerful ground telescopes, discoveries of this nature made by amateur astronomers are uncommon.
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