Bright comet Pan-STARRS can now be seen with the naked eye


09/03/2013

One of the two brightest comets of this year, Pan-STARRS (C/2011 L4), amateur astronomers will now be able to see with the naked eye. Watch a heavenly body can still only in the southern hemisphere, but on Thursday, going the celestial equator, it will appear in the northern sky, according to information provided on the website Spaceweather.com.

Comet C/2011 L4 opened professionals Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii in June 2011. According to scientists, the first time it occurred in the interior of the solar system. Comet pushed gravitational interactions occurring in the Oort cloud, an area populated by ice nuclei of comets, which is located beyond the orbit of Pluto. That is why the comet has maintained a sufficient amount of volatile substances, the evaporation of which the approach to the sun decorate her tail and bright coma - gas cloud around the nucleus. In brightness, as expected, it will be compared only with the comet ISON - the brightest comet of the decade.

Soon March 10, the comet comes closer to the Sun at a minimum distance - 0.3 astronomical units, or about 45 million miles away, and then it can not be seen because of the sunshine. Later, on March 12-13, bright celestial body once again shine in the sky and begin to climb higher to the north. She reached the second magnitude at maximum brightness.

Watching the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere can also see the bright comet - Lemmon (C/2012 F6), opened in January 2012 at the Mount Lemmon Observatory in the United States. Comet, which is due to the presence of cyanide in its fluorescence is different coma and tail, bright green color, now, reached a peak brightness - the third magnitude.

The brightest comet of the year and decade will ISON (C/2012 S1), which was opened astronomer Artyom Novichonok of Russia and his colleague Vitali Nevski of Belarus. It will be held in November 2013 at a distance from the Sun to 0.012 astronomical units (average radius of the Earth’s orbit), and December 26, 2013 at a distance from the Earth to 0.42 astronomical units.


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