A recently discovered comet named ‘Nishimura’ will be visible to the naked eye this weekend. Its next passage near Earth won’t occur for another 437 years.
ISTANBUL (IGFA) – The name of the rock and ice formation of unknown size, first spotted on August 12th, has been given to it by Japanese amateur astronomer Hideo Nishimura.
Nicolas Biver, an astrophysicist from the Paris Observatory, mentioned that it is rare for comets to reach their highest visibility right after being discovered.
According to a report by Sciencealert as relayed by AFP, astrophysicist Nicolas Biver stated, “Most comets are discovered months or even years before they approach the closest point to the Sun. A comet only passes by the Sun once every 437 years.”
When comets approach the Sun, the heat causes the icy core to transform into dust and gas, creating a long tail.
The Sun’s light reflects off this tail, allowing us to see comets from Earth.
Named C/2023 P1 in scientific terms, Nishimura will pass closest to the Sun on September 17th. Biver mentioned that it will be 33 million kilometers away from the Sun, which is less than a quarter of the distance between Earth and the Sun.
The comet will then safely pass by Earth from a distance of 125 million kilometers.