Very real April Fools' Day Comet will zoom by Earth
- Author: Essie Rivera Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 0:19
The comet's tongue-twister of a name stems from the surnames of the three astronomers who separately discovered it - Horace Parnell Tuttle in 1858, Michel Giacobini in 1907 and Lubos Kresák in 1951. But don't despair because Slooh.com has our backs and it has pointed its telescopes toward comet 41P's trail.
Called the Green Comet, and designated 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak, astronomers and space enthusiasts describe it as an impressive comet as it glows green and is nearly visible to the naked eye, though a backyard telescope would provide a distinctly clearer view.
Are you ready to spot the April Fools' Day Comet today?
The April Fool's Day comet will come as close as at a distance of about 13 million miles (0.14 astronomical units), or about 55 times the distance from Earth to the moon.
Astronomers and space enthusiasts have already been monitoring the progress of the comet.
Now NASA confirms that we will also get the chance to watch the closest approach of a comet that took more than a century to properly identify - and it is happening on the night of April Fools' Day!
Pramod G Galgali, joint director, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, told Bangalore Mirror that Nandi Hills is the ideal location to view the comet as it is located north of Bengaluru and offers a clear night sky for viewing. The comet is passing in front of the constellations Ursa Major and Draco the Dragon so use those as a guide to help you find it. It completes a revolution every 5.5 years, making it visible to Earthlings for a few days.
"This comet is famous for major outbursts that make it highly variable in brightness", NASA notes.
The website Science Alert said that since the comet is not very big, it will be 50 times too faint to be seen with the naked eye.