The newly discovered comet on its way to Earth should soon be visible to the naked eye

Eyes in the sky, folks: Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-Atlas) has a good chance of becoming bright enough to be visible to the naked eye in the coming months. It is currently visible only To telescopes, but it is still at a great distance from the sun. It’s time to get brighter, and it could get as bright as Venus, the brightest planet in the night sky, by October.

Its closest pass by the Sun will occur on September 27, and will be 58.6 million kilometers (36.4 million miles) from our star. This is a similar distance to Mercury. Then a few weeks after that, on October 12, the comet will orbit The closest passage to Earthabout 70.6 million kilometers (43.9 million miles) away.

Maximum volume may occur around that time. Some estimates It indicates that it will be brighter than all but four stars in the sky. And more Optimistic curve It causes it to be brighter than Jupiter, and slightly dimmer than Venus. That would be a very bright comet, and it would be Visible at sunsetWhich makes for a very relaxing sight if it starts to shine as much as hoped.

The comet was discovered more than 15 months ago independently by two observatories. First, by the Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory (Purple Mountain Observatory), but it was too faint and was lost in subsequent observations. It was then found again by the Asteroid Impact Alert System (ATLAS) in South Africa. After the discovery, it was found in old notes from December 2022.

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