What it is and how to see it

(CNN in Spanish) — It took decades of waiting, but Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, also known as “Devil's Comet,” is now visible in Earth's night sky.

Currently it can be viewed using the focus tools. However, it may be visible to the naked eye in the coming weeks, according to Astronomy Picture of the Day. a pot.

The Virtual Telescope Project captured a view of the comet above Manciano, in the Italian region of Tuscany, under the dark skies of the peninsula. Gianluca Masi/Virtual Telescope Project

Below, we give you all the information you need to know to see this astronomical object.

What is the “devil's comet”?

Ponce Brooks is Halley's Comet Which revolves around our sun once every 71 years, according to what was stated in a pot.

Comets are called “Halley type” because of the duration of their orbits: objects in this category have orbital periods between 20 and 200 years, explains Swinburne University (Australia).

Pons Brookes therefore falls within this range, as does Halley's Comet, which gives its name to this category and which visits the interior of our solar system once every 76 years.

Regarding his nickname, NASA says Pons Brooks is known as the “Devil's Comet” because of his potency. Horn-shaped appearance.

According to the specialized site EarthSkyThis comet was discovered by Jean-Louis Pons in 1812 and then again by William Robert Brooks in 1883 (a difference of 71 years, the duration of the orbit), and for this reason this astronomical object was named “Pons-Brooks”.

When and where do we see it?

Comet Pons Brooks began leaving traces in the sky since the middle of last year.

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EarthSky pointing to On its way to the Sun's vicinity, “Devil's Comet” experienced its first eruption on July 20, 2023, which can be seen by astrophotographers.

Comet nuclei usually produce explosions, according to the encyclopedia BritannicaThese are sudden releases of dust and gas that increase the brightness of these objects.

Since then, Pons Brooks has produced more explosions, and more are expected to come. What does this mean? The comet will shine brighter in the sky, making it easier to spot.

Currently, it refers to a potThe comet can be seen in the night sky in northern Earth with the help of binoculars or telescopes.

However, as the comet approaches perihelion (its closest point to the Sun), the chances of seeing it with the naked eye increase.

he Perihelion “Devil’s Comet” will be on April 21st. Therefore, the object should have been barely visible to the naked eye in the night sky for about a month beforehand, said Alan Hale, co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp and founder and president of the Earthrise Institute. CNN.

During the total solar eclipse on April 8, when the sky darkens, we may see Comet Pons Brooks. (Remember to use appropriate filters to view the eclipse, otherwise there is a risk of serious damage to your eyesight.)

When the comet passes perihelion on April 21 and begins moving away from the Sun, it will no longer be visible in North America and the planet. This means that later it will be the Earth's turn to warn it, so be careful from the end of April and May to monitor it, according to the EarthSky website.

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—With reporting from CNN's Ashley Strickland.

This text was published on March 14 and has been updated

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