Tuesday, February 2, 2021



The Earth will be receiving a celestial visit this week in the form of Comet C / 2018 Y1 Iwamoto. This shimmering piece of ice and minerals in shades of green is already visible in the night sky through telescopes and even binoculars. This particular comet was only discovered a few months ago by amateur astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto - and the icy rock is calculated to take 1,371 years to orbit the Sun on a stretched elliptical path.

Beautiful photo of the comet. (Image: Rolando Ligustri)

The closest that the C / 2018 Y1 Iwamoto will reach us will be at a distance of 45 million kilometers, that is 2.5 light-minutes, or about 118 times as far away as the Moon. Thanks to its incredible green glow, you can identify it using a simple binoculars.

But it is better to be fast: this star is traveling around the Solar System at approximately 238,000 km / h. Will not stay here forever. The comet has just passed the Sun, and here on Earth it will be seen traveling through the constellations of Leo, Cancer and Gemini, before leaving our vision and firing into the confines of the Solar System again. Use the star Regulus as a reference to find it, according to the representation of the constellations below.


Technically, it is known as an Extreme Trans-Netunian Object, a collection of objects far beyond Pluto - reaching perhaps five times as far from the Sun as the dwarf planet. We really encourage you to go out and try to find the C / 2018 Y1 Iwamoto while passing through here, after all, it is not scheduled to return to the internal Solar System until the year 3390. [ScienceAlert ]

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