The comet that is approaching to our Earth is discovered on December 28, 2019, in the zone of Ursa Major. Currently, it is located in Mars’ orbit, but it is approaching our planet. It was noticed by the Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System, also known as ATLAS. Experts claim that if the comet doesn’t break up in pieces, it will reach the closest point to the Sun.
ATLAS is the comet that is five-time larger than the size of Jupiter, which means that it is half of the size of the Sun. Because of it, when it passes next to the Earth, we will see something brighter than Venus. The precise size of the rocky ice core of the strange comet isn’t announced, but it is close as few miles, and it has a much massive atmosphere.
As we already said, ATLAS is currently in Mars’s Orbit, but its speed is increasing, and it is coming near the Earth. The comet will reach its closest point to our planet by the end of April. As it comes closer to the Sun, it is brighter and will reach to be the brightest object during the night, and became the comet of the generation.
Astronomers say that from day one of its discovering until now, there was a 4,000-fold increase in brightness. In the beginning, the comet was in Ursa Major and appeared 398,000 times dimmer in comparison to the stars that are vivid with a naked eye. At this moment, it is bright as an 8th magnitude star, which means that it is still invisible to a naked eye, but garden telescopes can quickly notice it. As it gets closer to the Sun, this comet emits better light. The reason why the comet is becoming brighter every moment is because it is throwing vast amounts of frozen gases, volatiles, according to Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab, Washington DC. Also, he adds that this is the time where the comet is invisible to the naked eye, but it is easily vivid with binoculars.
Astronomer Matthijs Burgmeijer declared that if the assumptions become true, then this comet will be the most spectacular one since the records began.
The experts claim that ATLAS will reach from a conservative magnitude +2, which means it will be visible to the naked eye, to a great magnitude -11, which will make the comet brightest and most spectacular since their recording has started.
Our job now is to wait, and to be patient enough, because the comets can be unpredictable. Maybe this comet will be just as the previous, Ison, which was promising but didn’t give any results.
For one comet to be visible with a naked eye, it should be able to hold on to its ice. But, to do the previously mentioned process, it needs to have a large nucleus with a store of frozen gas. And the astronomers can’t confirm it at the moment, because it is too far from us. If the comet doesn’t contain a large nucleus, it will waste its gas, which will make it crumble and fade as it is approaching the Sun.
Battams says that he doesn’t have a favorable opinion of the survival of the comet, because according to him, it will break before it reaches its brightest point. According to his intuition, ATLAS is over-achieving, and because of that, it will start to fall apart, and completely vanish even before it is visible to the Earth.
Because of the similar trajectory and orbit, many scientists link this space object to the Great Comet of 1844. The trajectory of the comet would need more than 6,000-year orbit around the Sun, and it would take beyond the outer edges of the solar system.
Also, when the night comes, the comet will be visible in the north-northwest sky, and by the end of April, it will be visible with the naked eye. It is fascinating to see the development of the comet ATLAS during the upcoming weeks, especially for the astronomers who have the best equipment for these kinds of events.
There are different types of space rocks.
Asteroid represents a large chunk of rock that is abandoned from collisions. Mainly they take place between Mars and Jupiter in the Main Belt.
Comet represents a rock covered in ice, methane, and many different compounds. They have orbits which take them away, very far from the solar system.
A meteoroid is debris. Mainly meteoroids are miniature, and they are released in the atmosphere.
When one of these meteoroids reaches Earth, it becomes a meteorite.
Asteroids and comets usually create meteors, meteoroids, and meteorites. When the Earth goes through the tail of a particular comet, the debris burns certain ingredients in the atmosphere, and that is how the meteor shower is created.