Monday, April 15, 2024

The ‘Devil Comet’ to be visible during solar eclipse in April

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Stargazers in April will have the opportunity to witness a rare solar eclipse and the ‘Devil’s Comet’, which only visits the inner solar system once every 71 years. While it will be closest to the Earth in June, it will be the brightest and easiest to see on April 21.

The comet will be best viewed from a location with clear, dark skies and coincides with the solar eclipse on April 8. The ‘Devil Comet’ will be best visible using a telescope or binoculars, and will be clearer “if you don’t have a moon in the sky, if there’s no light pollution, and if the weather is really clear,” according to Dr Robert Massey, deputy executive director at the Royal Astronomical Society.

The comet is named so because of its pointy, horn-shaped appearance, with tails of ice that melt and release gas when passing the sun.

The cryovolcanic comet has eruptions of dust and gas from the buildup of pressure, which gives it a horned appearance, while the diatomic carbon gives it a green glow.

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