We humans should consider ourselves lucky to be able to delight our view during the night sky with all sorts of bright cosmic objects. But when it comes to celestial shows, there’s always room for more beauty. Astronomer Michael Mattiazzo from Australia discovered back in March a new comet that captured his attention.
We’re talking about Comet SWAN, or C/2020 F8 by its official name. Call it how you wish, as its unique feature is not the name, it’s the brightness.
Comet SWAN approaches the Sun
While the poor comet is approaching its impending doom, this actually makes it brighter than before and an amazing sight for the stargazers. YouTuber AstroForum provides us even more details about the C/2020 F8 comet, and how to spot it on the night sky:
Furthermore, the description for the video of the YouTuber says as follows:
This video shows the location and trajectory of Comet SWAN C/2020 F8 during June 2020. The comet is visible from the southern hemisphere during the 1st and 2nd week of June in the northern hemisphere at latitude 50 and higher (e.g. London, Amsterdam, Moscow, Quebec). Please don’t worry, this comet poses no threat to earth.
A comet is an icy and relatively small cosmic object from the Solar System that, when it’s passing close to our star (the Sun), it warms and begins to decompose by releasing gases, a process known as outgassing. This phenomenon leads to the creation of a coma. These processes are occurring due to solar radiation and the solar wind. Also, we shouldn’t confuse comets with asteroids. Comets are distinguished by the presence of an extended and gravitationally unbound atmosphere that it’s surrounding their nucleus.
The first images of the SWAN comet were captured by the Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN) instrument from the joint ESA and NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).