Make sure to look up this weekend for a rare sight of Comet Leonard, because you’ll only see it once in your entire lifetime.
C/2021 A1, also known as Comet Leonard, is expected to reach peak size and visibility in the Northern Hemisphere’s eastern skies this weekend, according to AstroGeo.
For the best view, AstroGeo says Canadians should keep their eyes on the skies on Saturday, December 11 at around 6:30 pm local time.
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“If your location is dark, the comet should resemble a faint fuzzy patch or unfocused star,” explains Chris Vaughan of AstroGeo. “Its fainter tail will extend roughly upwards, i.e., pointed away from the horizon. In binoculars or a telescope, look for a faint hint of green.”
Earth Sky also recommends waiting for a dark sky and grabbing a pair of 10×50 binoculars to see the comet.
Stargazers will have their last chance to see the comet at its brightest and largest in the early hours of Sunday, according to Sky & Telescope.
Nasa says the comet — named after astronomer Greg Leonard who discovered it in January — could be bright enough to be seen with the naked eye.
Why is this a once-in-a-lifetime event? According to Sky & Telescope, the comet takes tens of thousands of years to complete an orbit around the sun.
This isn’t the only thing stargazers can look forward to in December. One of the year’s best meteor showers, Geminids, is expected to peak next week on December 13 and 14.
Fingers crossed the skies are clear that night, wherever you are.