On August 11, Japanese amateur astronomer Hideo Nishimura discovered a bright object near the Sun. No one has ever seen it because the object was lost in the glow of our star. The exciting news is that it turned out to be a brand new bright comet! On August 15th, this was confirmed Minor Planet Centre He officially made the discovery and named the comet C/2023 P1 (Nishimura).
What does Comet C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) look like now?
The comet is currently in the constellation Gemini. It has a magnitude of 8.3 and is gradually getting brighter. The growing comet’s tail is now about 8 inches long. A few hours before sunrise, C/2023 P1 can be seen with 40-50mm binoculars or a small telescope.
What does the name C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) mean?
The name of the comet contains data on when and where it was first seen:
- the letter c Refers to an aperiodic comet – comets of this type originate from the Oort Cloud and can pass through the Solar System just once or take 200 to thousands of years to orbit the Sun;
- “2023B1” It means that the comet was discovered in 2023, in the first half of August (this corresponds to the letter P in IAU comet naming system It was the first object to be discovered in the same period);
- “Nishimura” This means that the discovery was made by Hideo Nishimura, a Japanese astronomer.
How do you find C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) in the sky?
- Tap on the magnifying glass on the home screen.
- Type “Nishimura” and choose the appropriate result. The app will show where the comet is on a star map.
- Tap on the compass or point your device at the sky. The screen will match your sky in real time.
- Follow the arrow to see the comet on screen, then look this way up in the sky to spot it!
Where can you find C/2023 P1 (Nishimura)?
And this is the comet’s trajectory in the near future:
- 26 Aug: C/2023 P1 (mag 7.7) enters the constellation Cancer.
- Sept. 5: C/2023 P1 (mag 5.1) enters the constellation Leo.
- Sept. 7C/2023 P1 (mag 4.5) passes 0°16′ from the star Ras Elased Australis (mag 3.0) in the constellation Leo.
- September 9thC/2023 P1 (mag 3.8) passes 0°20′ from the star Adhafera (mag 1.7) in the constellation Leo.
- September 12th: C/2023 P1 (mag 2.7) is closest to Earth at a distance of 0.29 AU in the constellation Leo.
- September 15th: C/2023 P1 (mag 1.8) passing 0°10′ from the star Denebola (mag 2.1) in the constellation Leo; It enters the constellation Virgo.
- September 17th: C/2023 P1 (mag 1.7) hit rock bottom in the constellation Virgo.
- Sept. 22C/2023 P1 (mag 3.4) passes 1°30′ from the star Purima (mag 2.7) in the constellation Virgo.
In the sky tonight And Walk of the stars 2 Through the apps, the comet’s orbit and brightness are constantly updated with the latest astronomical data, giving you a more accurate and up-to-date view of it.
When is the best time to see C/2023 P1 (Nishimura)?
Comet will rise Sept. 7 It should reach a power of 4.5. This is bright enough to spot C/2023 P1 with the naked eye. Take your chance! The comet will be visible a few hours before sunrise in the constellation Leo. It will get brighter in the coming days as it reaches perihelion, but it will also get closer to the Sun in the sky, making it more difficult to see.
C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) at perihelion on September 17
On September 17, C/2023 P1 will reach its closest point to the Sun, called perihelion. It will be very close to our star, at a distance of about 0.9 AU. At that time, C/2023 P1 might be as bright as Size 1.7What visible to the naked eye. The comet will only be about 12 degrees from the Sun in the sky, so you won’t have much time to observe it. C/2023 P1 at sunset in the constellation Virgo. People in the northern hemisphere enjoy the best view. There is still a chance that the comet will disintegrate when it reaches its closest point to the sun, so keep an eye on it.
By mid-October, C/2023 P1 will become visible to telescopes again as it moves away from the Sun. In a matter of months, by February 2024, another bright comet, C/2023 A3 (Tuchinshan-ATLAS), will appear on the scene.
The newly discovered comet C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) may become visible to the naked eye in mid-September. On September 17, the comet will be magnitude 1.7 brighter when it reaches perihelion (the point closest to the Sun). However, due to its proximity to the Sun, it can be difficult to observe at that time.
It is better to start searching for the comet early, as of September 7th. By then, the comet should be visible to the naked eye for a few hours before sunrise. Don’t miss your chance! Use a stargazing app Walk of the stars 2 or sky tonight To easily find the comet in the sky.
Have clear skies and good luck hunting comets!
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