Last August, exactly on the 12th, the Japanese scientistHideo Nishimuradiscovered a new “phenomenon” in the sky: Comet Nishimurawhat can be seen in Spain these days, but there is an exceptional day that will be unique to see it better. A comet that, according to experts, we will only see after 434 years.
The best day to enjoy all its splendor is dusk. Sunday September 17th. “In recent days the comet has been visible at dawn, but before sunrise at a very low altitude above the eastern horizon,” he said in statements to EFE. Miguel Querejet, astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN).
But starting today, Wednesday, September 13, “the comet begins to become visible at dusk, at a very low altitude above the western horizon, moving from the constellation Leo toward the constellation Virgo,” the researcher says.
Technically, the comet is known as C/2023 P1 and was named Nishimura in honor of the amateur astronomer who discovered it. This comet is located about 125 million kilometers away and continues to approach the Sun, so its brightness will gradually increase over the course of this week.
According to calculations by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Nishimura will be just 34 million kilometers from the Sun on Sunday, September 17. On this day it will reach perihelion, when it reaches its minimum distance from the Sun.
“At this point it is exceedingly difficult or almost impossible to observe it with the naked eye, as its faint glow is lost in the glow of dawn,” but “it is possible for the comet to be seen with the naked eye, albeit with ” It was a big challenge at the end of this week,” explains Querejeta.
Tips for good observation of Comet Nishimura
To see Comet Nishimura well and in all its glory, it is important to have the following on hand: Tips that the researcher explains:
- Put yourself in one clear placewithout mountains or obstacles, as the comet will pass at a low altitude above the western horizon
- Have binoculars or a small telescope handy for a much better viewing.
Nishimura is a long-period comet, that is, with a very long orbit. It last visited Earth in the 16th century and, according to astronomers’ estimates, it will not return for another 434 years.
Comets are amalgams of small fine dust particles (residual minerals from the formation of the solar system) plus a portion of ice, as well as water, methane and ammonia and other compounds as well as organic substances.