The comet will be visible throughout the northern hemisphere for the next two days
The newly discovered comet Nishimura will pass by Earth today at a distance of 125 million kilometers, for the first time in more than 400 years. This particular comet completes an orbit approximately every 430 to 440 years. The rare green comet was discovered by a Japanese amateur astronomer, Hideo Nishimura, last August.
The comet will be visible throughout the northern hemisphere for the next two days. At one kilometer in diameter, Comet Nishimura will be visible to the naked eye – although you’ll need to use equipment to get a good look at it, as it’s not very bright.
“You’ll need a good pair of binoculars to spot it, and you’ll also need to know where to look,” explained Paul Chodas, director of NASA’s Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects.
The comet will grow brighter as it approaches the Sun and will be at its closest point to our star on September 17, before leaving the solar system. To spot it from the Northern Hemisphere, you should look at the northeastern horizon about an hour and a half before dawn.
If it survives its journey past the Sun, the comet will be visible in the southern hemisphere by the end of the month. The last time this particular comet passed Earth was about 430 years ago – about a decade or two before Galileo invented the telescope.
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