Recently, NASA said that it seems like a good bet that Comet Nishimura could become visible to the naked eye this week.
About Comet Nishimura:
- The comet was discovered in mid-August by amateur astronaut Hideo Nishimura, who used 30-second exposures with a standard digital camera to see it.
- Since then, the comet, officially called C/2023 P1 Nishimura, has increased in brightness as it went forward on its path in the inner solar system.
- The comet is angularly near the Sun so even if it is visible it will only be able to spot it early before sunrise or late before sunset.
- The comet is currently located in the constellation Leo.
- It completes an orbit around the Sun once every 435 years.
What are comets?
- Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the Sun.
- They are leftovers from the formation of the solar system.
- Typically, they range from a few kilometres to tens of kilometres wide. But as they orbit closer to the Sun, they spew out gases and dust, which forms the tails that they are famous for.
Q1) What is constellation?
A constellation is a group of stars that, when viewed from Earth, appear to form a specific pattern or shape in the night sky. These patterns are the result of the human imagination, as people from various cultures throughout history have associated groups of stars with mythological figures, animals, and objects.