The date of September 11, 2023 is uncertain.
Comet Nishimura, also known as C/2023 P1 (Nishimura), is set to make history next week with a spectacular celestial event that will be visible from BangKOK.
A detailed schedule has been devised by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) to witness this cosmic occurrence.
Japanese astronomer Hideo Nishimura discovered the comet a few weeks ago, and it has quickly become an extraordinary sight in the field of science. It is currently inching closer to its closest point with Earth on Tuesday (September 12), but it will shine brightly at its most intense intensity on September 17.
The most remarkable aspect of this celestial formation is that it can be observed with the unaided eye without the use of advanced technology.
Dedicated Japanese astronomer Nishimura, who trained his lens towards the heavens in the early morning of August 11, witnessed the comet’s journey.
Upon arriving at the Gemini constellation, he was startled to discover an unexplained object. His subsequent observations revealed that the comet in question had made a minor positional change and was therefore undiscovered.
The Minor Planet Centre was immediately informed by Nishimura about his discovery, which was the official body responsible for verifying such discoveries in our solar system.
The comet was officially identified on August 15 and named C/2023 P1 (Nishimura). It has been orbiting from the Oort Cloud for 437 years and is now positioned towards Earth and the Sun, with an increasing visibility.
COBS predicts that the Nishimura Comet will have a magnitude of up to 3.0, which would allow it to be seen with the naked eye.
To ensure you have a clear view of Comet Nishimura, here are the essential dates to mark in your calendar:
On September 8, the comet will be visible just before dawn, at an angle of about 20 degrees to our solar star, in the Leo constellation, near Regulus. This gives us a valuable one-hour window for observation. The most recent data indicates that the Comet should have risen from 5.2 onwards, making it easily viewable by the naked eye in areas with little light pollution.
The comet’s closest approach to Earth is on September 12, which is a momentous event in its celestial journey. It will be 125 million kilometers away, but its close proximity to the Sun may make it difficult to observe.
The Virgo constellation will be graced by the Nishimura Comet, making an impressive appearance in the western evening sky on September 17. Stargazers will have almost an hour to observe before the comet disappears and moves back down to the horizon.