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A Spectacular Rare Green Comet Lighting Up the Sky? An Expert on What To Expect From Nishimura

Recently discovered Comet Nishimura, C/2023 P1, has caught the attention of the public. Although its trajectory suggests a close approach to the Sun and possible visibility to the naked eye, a brilliant sky display, especially something like this spectacular illustration, is unlikely.

Of all the objects in the Solar System, perhaps the most spectacular are the great comets that occasionally grace our skies. If you’ve been on social media in the past few days, you’ve probably seen articles proclaiming we have such a comet in our skies right now: C/2023 P1 (Nishimura).

As I write this, comet Nishimura is swinging past on its first visit in more than 400 years. Japanese astronomer Hideo Nishimura discovered the comet on August 12. Soon after, pre-discovery images of the comet dating back to January were found, allowing astronomers to determine its path.

They quickly realized Nishimura would swing closer to the Sun than the orbit of Mercury this month. Given the comet’s brightness at the time of discovery, it could become bright enough to see with the naked eye. So, will it be a spectacular sight in our skies? Probably not.

Source: SciTechDaily