Rare comet can now be seen in the Franconian sky

At the moment is by Franconian night sky a very “special guest in the solar system” to observe. Daniel Völkel, the head of the Hof Observatoryis particularly pleased about that “very impressive fellow”. It’s about that Comet P12/Pons-Brooks – a Halley-type periodic comet. It was officially discovered in 1812 by the French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons, and in 1883 the American William Brooks rediscovered it – hence the Double name.

The Chinese However, they knew the comet as early as the 13th centuryexplains the developer company Vito Technologywhich, among other things, is behind the Astronomy app Star Walk stands. The comet Pons-Brooks is therefore a cold volcano, which traverses space. “It is a active cryovolcanic comets with a robust corethe violent one can suffer explosions and substances like Releases water, ammonia or methanethe scientists as ‘Cryomagma‘” Northern lights could also be clearly visible in the Franconian sky these days.

Tips from the expert: This is how you can currently see Comet P12/Pons-Brooks

Comet P12/Pons-Brooks has one Orbital period of 71 yearsexplained Völkel in the Starry sky preview for March 2024. “That means most of us will just this one opportunity have to observe the comet.” It was already at the end of February first Sightings Given the sixth size class, what close to the limit of naked-eye visibility lie. “With comets, however, it still has to be a little more, because they… mostly quite diffuse are,” explains the observatory director. But when, where and how can the comet be seen exactly? As Völkel explains, the comet was in the Near the Pegasus quadrangle in the constellation Andromeda found – “very close to the horizon, but clearly above the horizon”.

An original image from Franconian astronomers: Comet P12/Pons-Brooks could be seen more and more clearly in the starry sky over the course of March.

Thomas Bessas/Daniel Völkel

The course of the railway remains open for the time being approximately constant heightwhile the comet moves through the further course (around March 26th). Constellation Pisces move. Then he enters Aries constellation where it will pass close to Hamal, the brightest star in the constellation. On March 31, 2024, the comet was less than 0.5 degrees away from Hamal. At the moment you need one Binoculars or telescopeto spot the Pons Brooks.

On April 21, 2024, the comet will reach its closest point to the sun, “but then it will be in the daytime sky.” That means: Now “the optimal opportunity to track the comet.” With the binoculars If he is clearly visible, Völkel hopes above all “that Weather cooperates well.One should start by observing “if the… Twilight is well advancedbut the Sky not completely dark yet is,” said the chairman of the Association of Star Friends based in Bensheim in southern Hesse, Uwe Pilz, to the dpa. “Depending on the location in the German-speaking area, it’s between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.You can find further news from Hof ​​and the surrounding area in our local section.

Amazon book tip: Atlas for sky watchers: The 500 most beautiful deep sky objects with maps and photos

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