Astronomy enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the appearance of Comet Leonard, discovered this year, in the December sky. According to experts, something strange is happening with him – he will become brighter instead of brighter.

Comet Leonard (C/2021 A1) was discovered by astronomer Gregory Leonard on January 3, 2021 at the Mount Lemon Infrared Observatory, located about 27 kilometers northeast of Tucson, Arizona. A little later, sky lovers eagerly waited for December 2021 and January 2022, because after that the cosmic body would pass first the Earth and then the Sun. However, as early as the end of November, something strange was noticed. The comet should get brighter and brighter the closer it gets to the sun. Instead, it appears to be fading away.

– It’s not good news. The comet should get brighter, said Quanzhi Ye, an astronomer at the University of Maryland. “If it becomes pale, something is wrong, but at this point we don’t know exactly what,” he added.

Comet Leonard. Various hypotheses about its fading out

Astronomers fear, based on what they’ve observed with other comets, that C/2021 A1 fading means the comet is dissolving.

According to the astronomer, it is too early to call Comet Leonard a “dead man.” – In the pictures I saw on the 7th of December in the morning, the comet still looks in good shape – from a technical point of view it looks good. But the tendency to fade still remains, Ye said. “Time will tell, at this point we don’t know what happens to her,” he added.

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Comet Leonardstock struggle

Main image source: stock struggle