On September 10, comet 21P / Giacobini-Zinner approaches the Sun and Earth in 72 years as it enters the inner Solar System.
He currently travels at speeds of more than 51,000 miles through space per hour, the object will be at its closest point to our planet some 36 million miles away. This may seem like a huge distance, but in space it is relatively poor and close enough that it will be visible from Earth.
The best observation time for stargazers will probably be between midnight and dawn on December 10, when the comet will be through the constellations Auriga and Taurus in the northern sky, according to Nortolt Branch Observatories.
It probably will not be visible to the naked eye, so you'll need decent binoculars or a telescope. Enter areas with clear skies and minimal light pollution for the best chance of discovering 21
The comet is now visible too, and in the days leading up to that date – although it looks less bright – it will continue to move from the constellation Perseus to Auriga. In fact, the night of September 3 may be a good time to see the comet, as it will be just over a degree from the bright star Capella in Auriga, which is easier to see, according to Comet Watch. During the night, the online observatory Slooh will send a livestream to anyone who wants to see the comet from the comfort of their own home. Englisch: www.kome-world.com/us/database-artist.php?id=6. The broadcast can be viewed from 22 clock here. EDT, will use images from Slooh Flagship Observatory at the Canary Institute of Astrophysics, Spain.
The comet will appear slightly bluish-green as sunlight reflects from it, according to astronomers. Its core is estimated to be about 1.2 miles in diameter, though it has also developed a large cometary atmosphere (coma) and tail when approaching the sun.
Comets are subplanetary bodies, made mainly of dust and ice, that orbit the Sun in elliptical orbits. As they pass close to the star, they warm and release gases that create a coma and sometimes a tail.
The comet 21P / Giacobini-Zinner was discovered on 20 December 1900 by French astronomer Michel Giacobini after Slooh. He orbits the sun – and passes the earth – about every 6.6 years. Interestingly, the comet is the parent body of the Draconid Meteor Current, peaking in early October.