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This strange comet approaching Earth continues to transform before the eyes of astronomers

This strange comet approaching Earth continues to transform before the eyes of astronomers

Since this summer, Astronomy scientistsAstronomy scientists People from all over the world enjoy watching the evolution of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks along its path toward our sun. For the fourth time starting in July brightnessbrightness The comet suddenly began to brighten, making it shine at magnitude 9 in the constellation Hercules. According to astronomers, this sudden increase in brightness is a sign of its increasingly turbulent activity, as it approaches our star.

An increasingly active comet

Comet 12b/ponce brooks It returns to visit us approximately every 71 years: a so-called periodic comet, whichIt rotates in orbitIt rotates in orbitstrongly elliptical, brings it closer to the sun before moving away again to our borders Solar systemSolar systemat a maximum distance from our star 33.8 Astronomical unitsAstronomical units – Out of orbit NeptuneNeptune. It will reach its closest approach to the Sun in the spring of 2024, and will visit us again in 2094.

The comet is composed of, among other things, icy material, and heats up as it approaches the Sun, causing sublimationsublimation Part of its nucleus that passes throughsolid statesolid state toGaseous stateGaseous state. We are talking here about cryovolcanic activity: under the influence of the increase pressurepressureGases drill toward the comet’s surface and escape into space, leaving a trail of gas and dust behind.

Very irregular activity

If its previous peaks of activity had given it the appearance of a horned monster, this time this latest explosion turned it into a pale green ball, crossed by a curved line of colorcolor dark. The appearance of the horns has been linked to the supposed irregular shape of the comet’s nucleus, and the formation of this strange structure could also be a valid explanation. But some astronomers offer other explanations, according to the website Space climate.

The curved line could actually be a shadow of a certain gas column, which is a sign of escape from the place ThemeTheme In a specific place on the surface of the comet. Its activity is highly unpredictable, and its appearance can change from one night to the next! It is possible to track your location directly on the website Heaven guide.

This horned comet is resuming its volcanic activity again!

Article from Gaspar SalomonGaspar Salomonpublished on November 14, 2023

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is once again attracting the attention of astronomers, as it suddenly brightens. It is already known to sky enthusiasts that the comet’s activity has already been observed twice, along its path towards our sun. Its volcanic activity gives it the appearance of a horned beast, delighting observers.

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For the third time since this summer, astronomers reported a sudden increase in the brightness of comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, causing it to shine last November 2 at magnitude 12 in the constellation Hercules. Marks A emissionemission From the gas resulting from heating when it approaches the sun.

– Cryovolcanic eruptions that increase its luminosity

It was first discovered in 1812 by French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons, then rediscovered in 1883 by American astronomer William Robert Brooks. 12b/ponce brooks It is what is called a periodic comet, meaning that it completes a complete orbit (or revolution) in a relatively regular period of time. As is the case every 71 years or so, it is about to reach its closest approach to the Sun, which tends to heat it as it approaches our planet. a stara star.

As its temperature rises, the comet’s icy core solidifies, changing from a solid state to a gaseous state. Next we talk about cryovolcanism: gases make their way to the surface of the comet and escape into space, forming a trail of gas and dust that suddenly increases their luminosity. In the case of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, it increased in brightness by almost 100 times in just a few days! The horned monster’s appearance appears to be due to the irregular shape of its heart.

Cold, unpredictable volcanic activity

As it approaches the point in its orbit closest to the sun – PerihelionPerihelionWhich will arrive in the spring of 2024 – we can expect cryovolcanic activity to resume again. But its activity is difficult to predict, and is reserved for amateur astronomers TelescopesTelescopes Target this visitor.

After reaching perihelion, 12P/Pons-Brooks will once again return to the limits of the solar system, with its maximum distance from the Sun (or AveliaAvelia) from 33.8 AU, outside the orbit of Neptune. It will reach perihelion again in 2094. You can follow the comet’s evolution live using the guide Heaven guideas Its current position In our solar system.

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Article from Natalie MayerNatalie Mayerpublished on October 17, 2023

Last July, comet P12/Pons-Brooks caught the attention of astronomers by suddenly brightening. Then the researchers explained the result of the explosion. And now I’ve done it again. Once again, she’s decorated herself with funny snow horns that make her look like the Millennium Falcon.

there Comet P12/Pons-Brooks She’s already making waves this summer. As it continues quietly toward Earth — and should reach its closest approach to the Sun in April 2024 — its brightness suddenly increases dramatically. The cause was an explosion that occurred on its roof.

Repeated explosions on an icy volcanic comet

Or rather we should be talking about an eruption. Because Comet P12/Pons-Brooks is what astronomers call a cold volcanic comet. It can erupt when the sun warms its core. Then the pressure increases until a cloudsclouds Ice is expelled into space through cracks in the atmosphere ShellShell Of the comet.

This is what happened to P12/Pons-Brooks last July. It was announced again on October 5 Researchers from British Astronomical Society. After another flare, astronomers noticed that the comet had become dozens of times brighter. In the days that followed, she found herself once again adorned with some sort of horn.

The horns are due to the irregular shape of the comet

Researchers believe that the specific shape taken by Comet P12/Pons-Brooks at the time of these explosions is a shape that necessarily reminds us of the shape of the Millennium Falcon on our planet. star Wars – Due to the irregular shape of its nucleus. During the July eruption, it was comacoma Thus, it expanded until it reached 7,000 times the size of the aforementioned nucleus. Even if the numbers have not yet been determined, it appears that this explosion was twice as powerful.

As it gets closer and closer to our Sun, Comet P12/Pons-Brooks is expected to experience more flares of this type.

Filmed the Millennium Falcon in space? No, a giant comet exploded!

Article by Dorian Schiepmeister published on 07/30/2023

An unexpected event surprised the observing astronomers Draco constellationDraco constellation Over the past few days. Comet P12/Pons-Brooks experiences a sudden increase in brightness, possibly due to an explosion: the star’s halo is now decorated with a pair of luminous “horns.”

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“Horned comet.” This is the nickname given to Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks by the Anglo-Saxon media Since July 19. On that day, astronomers around the world saw an explosion on the surface of the celestial body, which led to a sudden and significant increase in its brightness. The event occurred on the nucleus of comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, with a diameter of 34 x 12 kilometers (similar dimensions to comet 12P/Pons-Brooks). Halley’s CometHalley’s Comet). His brilliance increased, exceeding his usual average by five times. Internet users, thanks to the project Virtual telescopehe photographed the comet: the latter now presents a peculiarity, namely HighlightHighlight They form two pointed anomalies that resemble horns. It crosses the solar system and is currently located 3.9 astronomical units (about 448 million km), far beyond Mars. Clear sizeClear size The number of 12P/Pons-Brooks increased from 16.6 to 11.6 during the explosion. The comet, which maintains a magnitude of 11.6, remains invisible to the naked eyeeyeeye Naked. And yet it is They can be perceived with an astronomical telescope or telescope.

Imminent approach to the edge of the Earth

It was probably observed on the 14thH And the fifteenthH P12/Pons-Brooks was officially recognized by French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons in 1812. With an elliptical path, OrbitalOrbital The comet’s age is 71 years. In April 2024, it is supposed to reach perihelion, which is its closest point to the sun. It will approach the Earth’s circumference in a few days: it will likely be visible in the sky LaylaLaylaits power is supposed to reach 4.5.

Notice to astronomersNorthern hemisphereNorthern hemisphere, P12/Pons-Brooks is currently located at the “head” of the Draco constellation, near the Little Dipper. Due to its small size, the comet can only be seen with powerful telescopes. For the most patient, they will have to wait eleven months to enjoy the object that will light up the celestial vault for a few days, from April to June 2024.