They captured Comet Leonard from Zacatecas: the stunning photo of a universe traveler

(Photo: EFE/Ángeles Visdómine/File)

It was difficult, but it was achieved. End of this week , Comet Leonard Visible from Mexico, the scene is immortalized in two adorable photographs by engineer Daniel Coronado “Daco”.

The Mexican astrophotographer also took pictures from the state of Zacatecasat nights December 2 and 3. After that, the celestial body seemed to have passed close to the famous cumulo M3, which is also depicted on the postcard. This was clarified in social media by the National Committee of Stars, which chose Dako’s work as the “astrological picture of the week.”

“Daniel captured the comet from Zacatecas Leonard C / 2021a, The nights of December 2 and 3, on their way through the constellation Vinacci cane Affiliated to Bootes. During these nights the comet visually coincided with M3, a spherical assembly that was first observed in 1764 by the “discoverer of the comet Charles Messier”, explained the organism, who called everyone To search for the culprit.

Use Daniel Coronado to take the photo un telescopio Sharpstar 80 mm and a ZWO 2600mc camera. For now, professional observation tools are essential to find Leonard in the sky. But this can change as the days go by.

In the first two weeks of December, we will have better and better chances of discovering the celestial body. This is because it will get closer and closer to our planet, until it reaches it Minimum distance from the ground December 12. This will be the best day to spot it, because it will also look very bright. Later, he will begin to move away from our world and it will be much more difficult to find him.

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However, we don’t have to wait until December 12th and we can actually try. During the first two weeks of the month, it is recommended to search for it a little before dawn, About 05:00 am. the watchers And they should direct their gaze towards the east, that is, to the point of the rising of the sun, and they should remember that with the passage of days it will approach the horizon.

Experts advise to go to places with clear dark sky Far away from the light pollution of big cities. It is also important to avoid forward structures – such as mountains or buildings – that may interfere with observation.

These are two images of Comet Leonard, taken by Daniel Coronado with a professional telescope from Zacatecas.  The postcard also shows the constellation M3, made up of millions of stars.  NASA believes the celestial body can be seen with the naked eye before it disappears forever (Image: Daniel Coronado) "Dako")
These are two images of Comet Leonard, taken by Daniel Coronado with a professional telescope from Zacatecas. The postcard also shows the constellation M3, made up of millions of stars. NASA believes the celestial body can be seen with the naked eye before it disappears forever (Photo: Daniel Coronado “Dako”)

According to the US Space Agency, this comet is likely to be the brightest in 2021. It was discovered on January 3 of this year in the United States. On that day, the astronomer Gregory J. Leonard Found blurry spot In some telescope pictures Mount Lemon Observatorio, from the University of Arizona. The nebula did not appear in any record and soon experts knew it was a new comet approaching the sun and classified it as C/2021 A1 Leonard, in honor of the man who discovered it.

For astronomers it was an unknown object. His last visit to Earth’s vicinity was 80,000 years ago, the time it takes to orbit the Sun about 35,000 years ago, and Leonard made his way back to Astro Ray. By the time he was recognized earlier this year, he was in his prime Jupiter. Its orbit will continue to push it toward the circumference of our planet until it reaches its closest point on December 12.

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Leonard was discovered as a faint spot in January 2021, when he was off the planet Mars. But your awareness will take you to traffic Close to Earth and Venus In December, before it got close to the sun in early January 2022, NASA reported on its website.

Astronomers calculate that the star will reach its maximum brightness between days December 13 and 14 Although they made it clear that pinpointing a particular moment is difficult, they explained that the estimates would be more accurate as the days went on.

“It is difficult to predict when and how bright a comet will be, because we do not know how much dust and gas it will emit. This can vary from day to day and it controls the amount of sunlight scattered and reflected back towards us,” NASA said. “Depending on the dust and gas, it is expected to be Typical maximum brightness around December 13 or 14, 2021, about a day or two after it has passed its closest point to Earth.”

The last time Leonard passed in front of the Sun was 80,000 years ago. Since then, it has wandered through space in a long cycle that will culminate in January. 35,000 years ago, the comet returned to the star, but once it reaches the star, in early January, it will leave our solar system and never return.

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