Sunday, April 14, 2024

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks over California

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks over California

In dark evening skies over June Lake, California, northern hemisphere, planet Earth, Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks stood just above the western horizon on March 30, 2024. Its twisted turbulent ion tail and diffuse greenish coma are captured in this two degree wide telescopic field of view along with bright yellowish star Hamal also known as Alpha Arietis. Now Pons-Brooks has moved out of the northern night though, approaching perihelion on April 21. On April 8 you might still spot the comet in daytime skies. However, to do it, you will have to stand in the path of totality and look away from the spectacle of an alluring solar corona and totally eclipsed Sun.

12P/Pons–Brooks is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 71 years. It fits the classical definition of a Halley-type comet with an orbital period between 20 and 200 years. It is also one of the brightest known periodic comets, reaching an absolute visual magnitude ~5 in its approach to perihelion.

Comet Pons-Brooks was discovered at Marseilles Observatory in July 1812 by Jean-Louis Pons.

The greenish coma of this comet has become relatively easy to observe in small telescopes.

Image Credit & Copyright: Dan Bartlett

Dan's website:

Location: June Lake, California

Capture Date: March 30, 2024

Release Date: April 4, 2024

#NASA #Space #Astronomy #Science #Sun #Earth #Comets #Comet #Comet12PPonsBrooks #Perihelion #SolarSystem #Astrophotography #DanBartlett #Astrophotographer #CitizenScience #JuneLake #California #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #APoD

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