A rare ‘devil comet’ will appear in Earth’s skies during the April solar eclipse

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By journalsofus.com


The devil may not come to Georgia this year, but he will arrive on a rare comet that will also coincide with next month’s solar eclipse.

The “Devil’s Comet,” officially known as Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, orbits the Sun every 71 years and, for the first time since 1954, makes its first pass across the sky above our little blue marble. It is also known as a short-period comet or also called a “Halley-type comet”, after the famous Haley’s comet that passes near Earth approximately every 75 years.

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks was first formally recorded in 1812 by French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons and later confirmed by American astronomer William Robert Brooks in 1883 (however, some historical records from Western Europe and China suggest may have been identified as early as the 14th century).

This particular celestial object is known for its colorful red and green flares, hence why it is sought after by stargazers. The bursts of color and gas that emerge from the mass of rock and ice usually take the shape of a horseshoe, also reminiscent of horns; hence the nickname “devil’s comet”.

POT grades that comets are formed by excess materials (ice, dust and rock) from the initial creation of their solar systems and can be from a few kilometers to tens of kilometers wide. As their orbits bring them closer to the Sun, the heat increases the temperature of the comet, which begins to heat up to the point of spewing gas and expanding its diameter to sizes even larger than the planets. The tail of a comet, whether close to the Sun or not, is usually millions of kilometers long.

Devil’s Comet was spotted several times last year, starting in the fall, according to Space.com, and may even be visible during the April 8 solar eclipse.

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