November 30, 2021

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Comet Rosetta, passing near the Earth: when and how to see it

Image credit: Pixabay

The Comet Rosetta Ready to make a surprise offer to us. Known by experts as Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and made famous thanks to the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe mission, it will soon become visible – but not with the naked eye – from Earth due to its new passage so close to our planet. in a At night between 11 and 12 November 2021Exactly seven years after landing on the Philae lander, comet Rosetta will appear to reach a minimum distance of 61 million kilometers. Nothing like this has happened in 193 years. Comet Rosetta was not close to us by more than 70 million km.

Already visible – because since November 3 at perihelion – using telescopes or binoculars – starting from a place as dark as possible where light pollution is minimized – Comet Rosetta appears to be viewed in the direction of the constellation Gemini. Experts refer to its position by saying that it can be found in one place The angular distance is about 3 degrees from the Pollux star. The latter can therefore be used as an important reference point.

The advice to be able to admire it higher up the horizon is to wait until midnight and head east at 40 degrees. But only on the night between November 11 and 12, 2021, between 1:30 and 1:50 – Italian time The long trail of dust and particles left behind by a comet can be observed in all its splendor. Indeed, only at that exact moment will the distance between Rosetta and Earth be shorter.

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It would be difficult, if not impossible, to see Comet Rosetta with the naked eye. They can be found following the directions above thanks to the use of large binoculars (11 x 70 or 20 x 80) or a telescope with a diameter of at least 10-15 cm.

Comet Rashid history and studies

Comet Rosetta’s history is long and full of sights precisely because it has been repeatedly observed and studied over the years. This is made possible by the fact that it is a file periodic comet which orbits the sun, enters between Jupiter and the Earth and returns periodically to “find us” every 6.5 years.

Discovered by Russian astronomers in 1969, This beautiful comet has been regularly seen in:

  • 1976
  • 1982
  • 1989
  • 1996
  • 2002
  • 2009
  • 2014

JustNovember 11, 2014 A new study mission has begun with the landing of the Philae probe on the comet. After 12 years of work, he November 30, 2016 Mission accomplished crashed on the comet.

Next scenes: When Comet 67P returns

When can Comet Rosetta be seen again? The next step is scheduled for November 29, 2034. By that date The distance from Earth will certainly be greater, equal to 70 million kilometers, than it is today. So professional tools will be needed and therefore not everyone will be able to see them using the tools they have in their homes.