April 05, 2020

Meanwhile: 8 Light Minutes From Earth (as of this evening)

One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us news of approaching entertainment from the Oort cloud. 

"Incoming SCIENCE!"

Comet/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) is a large parabolic comet on what is estimated to be in a 4800 year orbit. Comets are not unusual of course, but this one has increased in brightness by four orders of magnitude in the month of March alone. In addition to being really big, it seems to be exceptionally rich in volitiles even for a comet and it will pass quite close to Earth. Comets can be quite unpredictable with regard to their brightness, but as of now it is looking very possible that this will be one of the small number classified as "great comets" over the last two thousand years. 

 It will be most visible from the Northern Hemisphere, but it will be viewable from the antipodes as it passes closer to the sun. It will pass within the orbit of Mercury and may explode or disintegrate. 

It should be visible this month and will pass closest to Earth (72 million miles on May 23). 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:34 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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