How and when to see Leonard Comet in Yucatán

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Image of Leonard comet captured by the Bayfordbury Observatory at the University of Hertfordshire on Nov. 28. Photo: Wikimedia Foundation. 

The entirety of planet Earth, save Antarctica, will be treated to a cosmic show when Leonard comet sweeps by.

The comet will be best visible on the night of Dec. 12, when the ancient objects come within 22 million miles of Earth.

Stargazers will also be treated to an intense meteor shower around midnight.  

Discovered by G. J. Leonard at the Mount Lemmon Observatory just this year, Leonard Comet is a long-period comet that will not make “another run” in proximity to Earth for another 70 million years, so you best not miss it. 

However, when viewing celestial events weather is always a factor. That being said the comet should remain visible in Yucatán in some form until Dec. 15. 

Earlier: We got a robot artist to paint Yucatán, here are the results

“Cosmic events like this are important as the composition of objects like the Leonard Comet give us insight into the formation of our solar system,” said UNAM astronomer Julieta Fierro Gossman.

A comet is an icy, small solar system body that, when passing close to the sun, warms and begins to release gasses, a process that is called outgassing.

This causes phenomena commonly referred to as a comet’s tail, which if intense or close enough can be seen from the earth by the naked eye. 

It is believed that the Leonard comet had its origin in the Oort cloud, an icy disk of material that defines the cosmographic boundary of our solar system. 

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