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How to catch a rare glimpse of newly-discovered comet

09/08/2023 07:09 PM
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Photo courtesy of Tainan City government Sept. 8, 2023
Photo courtesy of Tainan City government Sept. 8, 2023

Tainan, Sept. 8 (CNA) A newly-discovered comet is set to pass through Earth's skies in September for the first time in around 300 years and those hoping to catch a glimpse should use binoculars, the Tainan City Bureau of Education said Friday.

Comet C/2023 P1, also known as Comet Nishimura, was discovered by Japanese astronomer Hideo Nishimura in August this year, and it is set to reach its closest position to Earth on Sep. 12, the bureau said in a press release.

In the early morning hours, it will be around 10 degrees above the horizon near the constellation Leo, the bureau said, adding that the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle will become more accessible if binoculars are used.

The comet will be closest -- only 12.2 degrees away -- to the Sun on Sep. 17, the bureau said, adding that it will be easiest to see at dusk.

Meanwhile, according to the Tainan Astronomical Education Area, a lunar occultation of Antares -- a double supergiant star in the Scorpius constellation -- is set to happen on Sept. 21.

The Moon will pass in front of Antares at 3:56 p.m., and the star will be visible again at 5:17 p.m., but it will be tough to observe this event in Taiwan because it is happening in the daytime.

In addition, the Education Area added that Sept. 22 before sunrise will be a great time for stargazers to see Mercury, as it will be at its greatest elongation.

The area added that this is notable because it is often hard to see Mercury as it is the closest planet to the Sun.

(By Chang Jung-hsiang and Bernadette Hsiao)


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Mercury. Photo courtesy of Tainan City government Sept. 8, 2023
Mercury. Photo courtesy of Tainan City government Sept. 8, 2023
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