Once every 434 years, this comet passes close to the sun, and this is what is happening today

Once every 434 years, this comet passes close to the sun, and this is what is happening today

Today Comet Nishimura flies close to the Sun. The last time this comet visited the inner solar system, our ancestors fought the Eighty Years’ War. In the summer of 1588 – the last time Nishimura flew close to the sun – Spanish fleet It was defeated by Dutch and English attackers.

Comet It was discovered on August 12, 2023 By Japanese amateur astronomer Hideo Nishimura. At that time, the distance to the comet was about 150 million kilometers. Today – after more than a month – the comet reaches the point of its orbit closest to the sun. Astronomers call this perihelion. The distance to the Sun is now only 35 million kilometers.

This week’s satellite image is a beautiful image of Comet Nishimura, Taken by astrophotographer Kenneth LeRose. The comet was observed from the US state of Washington. The comet can be seen directly above the mountainous horizon. The comet’s nucleus appears very green, and it is also noted that the tail is very long. also this picture By Elliot Herman Highly recommended. Here you can see that solar flares and solar wind clearly affect Nishimura’s tail, causing all kinds of waves to appear.

Satellite image of Comet Nishimura week above the horizon. © Kenneth LeRose

Astronomers believe that comet Nishimura is responsible for the weak meteor shower Sigma hydride. Typically, around December 12, three additional meteors appear per hour. It is possible to see more meteors this year with the comet’s recent passage. The comet left behind many new dust particles that will collide with the Earth next December. The bad news for us is that the meteors appear to be coming from the southern constellation Serpent, and this constellation cannot be seen in December. So you’ll have to travel to the Southern Hemisphere to experience meteor showers. On the other side: We can enjoy the Geminids during this period (And we may still detect stray sigma hydride burning in the atmosphere.)

In the coming decades, Nishimura will travel toward the Kuiper Belt again. This donut-shaped region is home to thousands of icy celestial objects, from dwarf planets to comets. In the year 2227, the distance to the sun will be greater, that is, 110 times the single trip from the sun to Earth, which is equivalent to 16.5 billion kilometers. In comparison, Pluto’s distance from the Sun ranges between 4.5 and 7.4 billion kilometers. Nishimura will then crawl toward the Sun again, arriving at its parent star in September 2430.

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