The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, for its acronym in English), reported this Thursday that Comet Leonard (C / 2021 A1), discovered earlier this year, will be seen in almost all of Latin America this December, when get to its closest point to Earth.
“Leonard was discovered by astronomer Gregory J. Leonard in January 2021, beyond Mars, but its orbit will take it close to Earth and Venus this December, before it approaches the Sun in early January 2022. ″ Explained the special agency.
He also added that it is difficult to predict when and how bright a comet will appear, since they do not know the amount of dust and gas emitted, since it varies from day to day.
The best time to see it from Mexico will be at dawn on December 12, when it reaches its perigee, the minimum distance from Earth. Agency specialists estimate that the comet achieves a magnitude 4 on the luminosity scale, making it more visible.
It is first expected to be more noticeable in the northern hemisphere and then in the south, allowing it to be observed in Central American countries, then in nations such as Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina. It will depend on the weather conditions.
Leonard will be the second celestial show of this magnitude, after the visit of comet Neowise in 2020, which could be seen in the skies of Zacatecas and Cancun; its glow and tail were visible to the naked eye.
Leonard last passed in front of the Sun 80,000 years ago and, since then, has been going through space on a long lap that will culminate in January.
Once it reaches its perihelion, or the point closest to the Sun, it will exit the solar system and disappear.