The newly discovered comet, which is quite rare and exceptional in terms of its origin and configuration, is set to be discernible from the earth for the very first time in the millions of years. As per the announcement of NASA, the rare Comet C/2016 U1 can be witnessed by using a powerful binocular to skywatchers. The incident is reported to take place just before the newly found celestial object headed for the external reaches of the stellar system for a course which is believed to be lasting since thousands of years.
Detailing the news, Paul Chodas, the manager of NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, “There is a golden opportunity to witness the rare comet, called C/2016 U1 NEOWISE through a good pair of binoculars. However, because the brilliance of the comet is notoriously changeable, we can’t be so sure about the visibility.”
The comet C/2016 U1 NEOWISE, between now and 14th January, will be situated at the closest position to the Earth and hence there are great chances of its potential visibility in the night sky. By using binoculars or even the naked eye, one can witness the comet heading back towards its million-years-old orbit. The detection of C/2016 U1 dates back October 2016, when NASA’s scientists for the first time noticed this mysterious celestial body in the space. Currently, the comet is heading towards its orbit which goes through earth and the sun. Before heading back to the external Solar System, the comet will also cross through the course of Mercury.
The best time to watch the comet is the dawning time of sun from toady to 14th January. To enjoy the uncommon phenomenon, just look at the south-eastern sky just before sunrise through binoculars. However, some places will be privileged to witness the rare incident in naked eyes. The comet will be witnessed in the south every day until it fades away from the spectacle in the mid of January.
C/2016 U1’s orbit usually takes millions of years to be completed once, and thus this could be the first and probably the last time to get the close-up view of it. The scientists of NASA also confirmed that this is for the first and almost certainly last time, that the comet will cross the orbit of Earth so closely.