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Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: When and where it can be seen

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: When and where it can be seen When and where you can see the Devil's comet (photo: Dan Bartlett)

On April 8, two unique phenomena will be visible in the sky - a total solar eclipse and Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, also known as the Devil's Comet and the Mother of Dragons, according to Science Alert.

What is known about the Devil's Comet

For the first time in 71 years, Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is approaching the Sun. According to scientists' estimates, it is approximately the size of Mount Everest. It earned its nickname Devil's Comet due to horn-like flashes located in its coma - a local cloud of gas, dust, and ice particles surrounding the comet's solid core.

Comet Pons-Brooks is a cryovolcano, meaning it tends to have fairly frequent eruptions. When this happens, the formed cloud of ice and dust around it expands, making it brighter.

During a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun, the sky darkens so much that the comet will be difficult to see with the naked eye, but it's worth using binoculars or a telescope.

It is worth noting that the solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Mexico, the US, and Canada.

When and where the comet can be seen

To locate Pons-Brooks, first look for the eclipsed sun on the planet Jupiter; it will appear as a small bright point of light in the upper left corner.

Once you've found Jupiter in the sky, look slightly upwards and to the right. The comet will be between Jupiter and the Sun but closer to Jupiter.

Can the comet be seen from the territory of Ukraine

Although we won't be able to observe the solar eclipse from the territory of Ukraine, we will still be able to see the comet. It will reach its peak brightness between April 8 and April 21. For those who want to see it, it's worth going out on a clear evening and looking towards the low western and northwestern sky when twilight has already ended.

In close-up photographs, the comet appears as a green streak in the sky due to the high level of carbon dioxide it contains, which emits green light. However, when observed from the ground, it will appear as a tiny gray spot.Вже зовсім скоро "комета диявола" наблизиться до Землі: коли і де її можна побачити

Вже зовсім скоро "комета диявола" наблизиться до Землі: коли і де її можна побачити

Photos of the Pons-Brooks Comet (photo: Space)

How bright the comet will be

After the Devil's Comet eclipse, it will remain visible in the sky for another two weeks. When it approaches the Sun, it will be at its brightest.

However, on April 8th, its apparent magnitude will be around 4.9, which means it will be almost at the limit of what the human eye can see, explained NASA's Deputy Director for Strategic Sciences at the Solar System Exploration Division, Geronimo Villanueva.

Scientists emphasize that predicting the visibility of a comet is difficult. The brightness of comets depends on how solar light interacts with their coma. Since the distance of the comet from the Sun and its coma constantly change during its orbit, its brightness also changes.

Earlier, we wrote about NASA's plans to establish a single standard time on the Moon.