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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Sunday May 19, 2024
Sunday May 19, 2024

Devil Comet, the celestial giant, approaches Earth!

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From sinister ‘Horns’ to a circular form – Astronomers intrigued by 12P/Pons-Brooks’ evolution

The ‘devil comet,’ officially named 12P/Pons-Brooks, is known for its impressive size, rumoured to be larger than Mount Everest. Astronomers gave it this scary name because of its unique ‘horns,’ which are likely made of gas and dust. These horns add to the comet’s menacing look as it travels towards Earth.

However, recent updates have lessened the fear surrounding this comet. Live Science reports that the comet’s famous horns are no longer visible. This change happened after a cryovolcanic eruption, an event where volcanoes made of ice erupt. Now, the comet has a circular shape instead of its previous spiky appearance. Despite losing its horns, the comet has developed a rare green colour and a mysterious shadow.

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In terms of its orbit, 12P/Pons-Brooks circles the Sun every 71.2 years. It is classified as a short-period comet because its orbit lasts less than 200 years. There have been concerns about its path towards Earth. But it’s expected to be safe when it approaches our planet on June 2. It should be visible without a telescope, yet it will stay a considerable distance away. At its closest, it will be 1.5 times farther than the distance from Earth to the Sun.

NASA has also weighed in, providing reassurance. The space agency has confirmed that no known asteroid or comet, including 12P/Pons-Brooks, is on a collision course with Earth. They consider the chance of a major impact event very low. NASA’s research suggests that no large celestial object will hit Earth for several hundred years.

In conclusion, despite the sensational names and stories, the ‘devil comet’ is not a significant danger. Now without its distinctive horns, 12P/Pons-Brooks is just a normal comet moving through space, posing no immediate threat to our planet. This leads to a reflective question: without its defining features, is the ‘devil comet’ just a regular comet after all?

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