Space gives us presents!
Great Christmas gift for fans of astronomy this winter. Comet Catalina (C /2020 US 10) flies to the Ground. Most of 2015, she traveled across the sky of the southern hemisphere of the Earth. November 20 just a few seconds it appeared on the sky of the Northern hemisphere. Watch it at the end of November, it was incredibly difficult. The comet only appeared in the wee hours very close to the horizon. All who are engaged in astronomical observations, you know how difficult it is to see such an object in the starry sky. However, every day the conditions of observation of comets improve. Every night of the comet increases the height of the lift above the horizon by 1 degree, which is two visible diameter of the moon. New year’s eve the comet will appear just after midnight and is visible until dawn. And from mid-January, after the “old New year”, the comet will be visible all the dark.
October 3, 2015, the comet was in the constellation of Centaurus. Photo: Martin Mobberley
For the last time this is the most brilliant and unpredictable comet that visited our Solar system. Comet Catalina came to us from the Oort cloud. Scientists believe that the Oort cloud is formed from comets and the remnants of “construction debris” thrown from Solnechnoye when it was created. This is the first visit of the comet Catalina inner Solar system. Such comets are of great interest to scientists. Because it is not clear what constitutes the nucleus of the comet how comet near the Sun and any particles will bring us her tail. Predecessor Catalina, comet ISON. arrived to us from the same cloud, melted for several hours at approach to the Sun. Comet Catalina already crossed the point of perihelion (closest to Sun point trajectory), and now receding from the Sun, approaching the Earth. 17 January 2016, the comet Catalina will be maximally closer to the Earth at a distance of 108 million kilometers.
How to observe the comet? To observe the comet in the Northern hemisphere with the beginning of December 2015 to spring 2016.According to the forecasts of scientists, in mid-January brightness of the comet Catalina will be 5.5 m. that will allow to observe it with a binocular with aperture of 40 mm or a telescope with an aperture of 60 mm and more. And the comet can be seen with the naked eye.
In the new year, Catalina will be in the region of the constellation URSA major.
Map the path of comet C/2020 US10 Catalina across the sky of the Northern hemisphere of the Earth. Move of the comet is given with an interval of 5 days. Source: Sharov Fedor