Bengaluru 30°C

Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS Approaches Earth, Visible to Naked Eye Soon


Following solar storms and eclipses, 2024 is expected to bring yet another amazing show for sky watchers. October will be the best time for people to see Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS (C/2023 A3) with the unaided eye, according to Forbes. According to the outlet, it can only be seen with a large telescope and is presently traveling between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Experts are already referring to A3 as the “comet of the year” because it will be one of the uncommon occurrences.


It’s anticipated that the comet will shine in the night sky comparable to Venus.

A3 comes from the Oort Cloud, a region in our solar system that’s home to millions of comets, and has an orbit of 80,000 years.

The comet was jointly discovered in February last year by astronomers at South Africa’s Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescope and China’s Tsuchinshan Observatory.

A3 will make its closest approach to the Sun on October 10, 2024, and will be easily visible in northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, it will be visible just after sunset.

The Forbes article states that the comet will begin to fade in the middle of October.

One of the reputable websites for live events and discovery, The Virtual Telescope Project, has released a photo of Comet A3, taken on May 5.

According to the website, the comet’s tail is always changing as the geometry of the Sun, Earth, and comet changes, and its coma, or nucleus, is visible.

According to NASA, comets are frozen leftovers from the formation of the solar system composed of dust, rock and ice. They range from a few kilometres to hundreds of kilometres wide, but as they orbit closer to the Sun, they heat up and spew gases and dust into a glowing head that can be larger than a planet. This material forms a tail that stretches millions of miles.

Whatsapp Channel