The brightest comet in the night sky will be in close proximity to the flyby next week if it could be visible to the naked eye
- The Comet 46P / Wirtanen is already close enough to be seen with a telescope the next day December 16, when it can be visible to the naked eye
- The periodic comet is seen above the eastern horizon and casts green glow
A comet closest to Earth next week is now the brightest comet in the night sky, casting a green glow that extends so far as Jupiter.
The Comet 46P / Wirtanen follows a course of 5.4 years and is already close enough to be seen with a telescope or even binoculars.
And NASA says you might soon see it with the naked eye.
The light green comet will be closest to Earth on December 16, when it is best seen above the eastern horizon.
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A comet closest to Earth next week is now the brightest comet in the night sky, casting a green glow that is as far as Jupiter. Astronomers Have Documented Its Approach Last Month
NASA has just last month shown a stunning photo of the glowing sky glowing brightly as it nears its near approach to the sun and the earth.
It will be closest to Earth, according to Earthsky, closest to the Sun before approaching our planet a few days later.
The image shared as part of the day's NASA astronomy image shows the comet 46P / Wirtanen when he was too far away to see with the naked eye.
"From places with dark skies, it could only be seen with the naked eye, as its 5.4-year orbit brings the earth and sun closest to each other in mid-December," NASA explains. The photo was taken by Alex Cherney (Terrastro , TWAN).
"Fluorescent in the sunlight, its spherical coma is about half the size of a full moon in this southern hemisphere telescope view of November 7th.
The comet was about 2 minutes away by light or 35 million kilometers away from earthbound telescopes, so the pretty greenish coma here has a diameter of about 150,000 kilometers.
"That's about the size of a Jupiter."
Comet 46P / Wirtanen follows an orbit of 5.4 years and is already close enough to be seen with a telescope or even binoculars. NASA says you may soon see it with the naked eye
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPACECRAFT?
An asteroid is a large boulder left over from collisions or raids of the early solar system. Most are between Mars and Jupiter in the Main Belt.
A comet is a rock covered with ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits lead them much further out of the solar system.
A meteor gives astronomers a flash of light in the atmosphere when debris burns. [19659009 This debris itself is known as a Meteoroid . Most are so small that they evaporate in the atmosphere.
When one of these meteorites makes it to Earth, it is referred to as Meteorite
] Meteors, meteoroids, and meteorites are usually from asteroids and comets ,
For example, when the earth passes through the tail of a comet, much of the debris burns in the atmosphere, forming a meteor shower.
Amateur astronomers have also tracked the object as it approaches our planet.
Twitter user Terry Lovejoy has earlier this week pointed out that the Comet 46P is now close enough to see even areas with lots of light pollution.
But for the best viewing opportunity, you should find a spot next week that will not be disturbed by the lights of the city.