Saturday , July 24 2021

SAS: Comets that reach Earth can be observed even with small telescopes

The periodic comets 7P / Pons-Winnecke and 10 / P Temple 2. are coming to Earth today. They belong to the Jupiter family of comets. In May and June, they will be brighter than the 12th magnitude, and the public will be able to observe them in the sky with small frogs.

TASR was informed about this by the spokesperson of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) Katarína Gáliková.

The periodic comet 7P / Pons – Winnecke is considered the parent comet of the Bootida meteor shower in June. The historically most successful discoverer of all comets, Jean-Louis Pons, discovered it on June 12, 1819. After it was lost, it was rediscovered in the air on March 9, 1858 by Friedrich AT Winnecke.

“The orbit of this comet is 6.31 years and we estimate the diameter of its core at 5.2 kilometers. It will cross Perihélio on May 27 and will be closest to Earth on June 12,” said Ján Svoreň of the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

He added that this will make the comet brighter than the 10th magnitude in the first half of June. From May to June Comet 7P / Pons – Winnecke from Slovakia will be observed in the second half of the night. It will be brighter than the 12th magnitude until mid-August.

The May and June mornings just before sunrise can be diversified by observing the periodic comet 10P / Temple 2. It got its name from the astronomer Ernst WL Temple, who discovered it on July 4, 1873. The orbital period is 5.3 years and the estimated diameter of the core 10, 6 kilometers.

“The distance from perihelion is 1.41 astronomical units. The closest to Earth passed in 1925 at a distance of only 0.35 astronomical units. In 2026 it will approach the Earth again, at a distance of 0.41 astronomical units,” he added. astronomer ta. The astronomical unit is the average distance of the Earth from the Sun.

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