What is the Christmas Star? What is the Comet Leonard? When we can see it?
On the 12th of December 2021, we could see the brightest comet (Star) in the year 2021. Traditionally, the comet is a famous symbol in the Christmas season. The Star of Bethlehem, or Christmas Star, appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew where “wise men from the East” (Magi) are inspired by the star to travel to Jerusalem. So, appearing a comet in December is so special. (you can see the actual photo of this star at the bottom of this page.)
If you really want to see this comet (star), save your dates in December. The comet is travelling towards the Sun and it is visible to Earth since early December. On the 12th of Dec, we will have the closest moment of this comet and it would be the brightest moment of this comet to the Earth. This comet (Star) is called “Comet Leonard”.
On Sunday, December 12, we will transition to early evening observation. Head out about sunset and gaze in the southwestern sky for the finest glimpse of Comet Leonard. The comet will pass through Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter. At this vantage point, Comet Leonard will be visible till Christmas.
Comet Leonard was discovered by Gregory Leonard on, 3rd of January 2021 for the first time. That’s why the comet was named after him. He caught a glimpse of it in images taken from the Mt. Lemmon Observatory in Arizona. Leonard is what’s called a “long-period comet” hailing from the far reaches of the solar system. The comet closest approach to the sun, or perihelion, occurs next month on January third.
It was visible before Sunrise until the 11th of Dec and shifting night from 12th of Dec. Until the 7th of Dec, it was only visible through equipment like binoculars or telescopes. But, now it can be observed by the naked eye.
Ages before sophisticated telescopes, people observed stars by the naked eye or optical telescopes. Since that time, there is a tradition to name stars, comets and asteroids after the first observer’s name. That tradition is surviving until this day. We are so excited to share more information and our experiences if we could see this comet. Share this article and make sure to save your dates for this amazing cosmic event. You can share your experiences of observing this Christmas comet.
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