Devil Comet : Approaching Earth
The mysterious ‘Devil Comet’ is approaching Earth for the first time in decades.
- The Comet is passing by Earth for the first time in the 21st century.
- The so-called Devil Comet is scientifically named Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks.
- It is larger than typical comets and has been dubbed the “Devil Comet” for appearing to have horns.
- Its “horns” are actually tails of gas and dust formed by an odd series of explosive outbursts that scientists still do not understand.
- An “outburst,” is where comets suddenly get much more active, throwing off tons of gas and dust in a short period of time.
- When this happens, the comet brightens really rapidly and then sort of fades back to the brightness it had before.
- In Pons-Brooks, these are really, really large outbursts which makes this comet interesting to scientists.
- This short-period comet orbits the Sun once every 71.2 years, similar to the famous Halley’s Comet.
- This comet is not a newcomer to the solar system scene.
- Scientists have known about Pons-Brooks ever since 1812.
- Comet hunter Jean-Louis Pons spotted it at 4th magnitude.