Illustrious ‘Devil Comet’ to be at its brightest in Australian skies this weekend

This weekend, stargazers are in for an extraordinary delight as the elusive ‘Devil Comet’ graces Australian skies for the first time in seven decades.

For the first time in 71 years, the ‘Devil Comet’ also as known as 12P/Pons-Brooks, is fast approaching the Southern Hemisphere after being visible in the north.

Stargazers across Australia will have a limited window to witness the comet’s spectacle without any special equipment just before sunrise. This extraordinary celestial event is attributed to cryo-volcanic eruptions of ice and is comparable in size to Mount Everest.

As the sun’s warmth triggers the sublimation of ice into gas, a distinctive “fuzzy green haze” will spread across the night sky.

Astrophysicist Brad Tucker from the Australian National University, explained the occurrence will be similar to Hailey’s comet, as the comet goes around and gets closer to the sun, the ice will heat up and turn into a gas.

While seasoned observers in the Northern Hemisphere have been tracking the comet since mid-March using telescopes, its visibility will extend to Southern skies from mid-April onwards.

Australians will have the best opportunity to catch sight of the comet around Anzac Day, lasting for approximately one to two weeks. Initially, it will appear low in the western skies, so enthusiasts are encouraged to head west for an unobstructed view. For an enhanced viewing experience, professionals recommend using binoculars or a telescope.

As the comet approaches its closest point to Earth in June, it will gradually diminish in brightness and become imperceptible to the naked eye by July.

Keen stargazers have welcomed a lot of sky activity in the last month, between the geomagnetic storm which was triggered by a coronal mass ejection (CME) or substantial releases of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun.

To the penumbral lunar eclipse which occurs when the moon almost perfectly align with the sun and Earth. The alignment results in the outer edge of Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra, casting onto the moon’s surface.

More News

To Top