April Fools’ Day Comet To Pass Closest To Earth

Posted: Mar 31 2017, 9:00am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
April Fools’ Day Comet to Pass Closest to Earth
Credit: Slooh.com
  • On the Occasion of April Fools’ Day a Comet will Flit Past the Earth

It is not a joke. On the occasion of April Fools’ Day, a comet will flit past the earth and break a record for the closest any such comet has come to our planet.

Many are still not convinced. They are taking the news as a possible April Fools’ Day joke. Yet the comet which will be making a close call as regards our “spaceship earth” is not a silly prank played by some joker.

Tomorrow, the comet named 41P/Tuttle-Glacobini-Kresak will fly by the earth at its closest ever since its first sighting in 1858.

There is no reason to get alarmed though. This comet will not smash into the earth. It will just be following a closer path than the usual route it normally takes.

It will remain at a distance of 13.2 million miles from the planet. That is 50 times the distance the earth’s satellite, the moon, lies in outer space. A glimpse of the comet is possible a few days before and after Saturday. On Saturday though it will arrive at the closest it has ever been to the earth.

All the aficionados of astronomy will be gathering on rooftops and hills with their pocket-size telescopes to get a clear view of this comet. It will traverse the far northern sky.

Those individuals who reside in the Northern Hemisphere will get a chance to see it at night. It will lie close to the handle of the Big Dipper (that would be Ursa Major).

The weather may be cloudy in the Northeast, Central Plains and Pacific Northwest. However, in the rest of the country, the sky ought to be crystal clear in its consistency.

The comet is not very huge. That is why it cannot possibly be seen without the help of a telescope. It will most probably appear in the night sky as a hazy blob of luminescence.

A pair of binoculars can act in lieu of a telescope too. The moon will be a sliver-like crescent so it won’t act as an obstacle in the viewing of the comet.

For those who will still not be able to gaze at the comet, a quick look on the website Slooh.com will show them its whereabouts along with the latest up-to-date images.

Comets are often named after the stargazers who discovered them in the first place. This comet flies past the earth every five and a half years or so.

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