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Horned ‘devil comet’ Will Be Visible During April Eclipse

A comet that hasn’t been seen in over seven decades will be visible in April during the eclipse.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said comets are the frozen leftovers resulting from a formation of the solar system that are composed of dust and rock.

The comets vary in sizes, ranging from a few miles to tens of miles wide.

When comets orbit in close proximity to the sun, they can heat up, emit gases and dust into a head that then becomes what looks like a trail.

The comet 12P/Pons-Brooks takes 71 years to fly around the sun, according to NPR. On April 21, the comet will reach the point in its orbit when it will be closest to the sun.
According to Space.com, 12P/Pons-Brooks is especially known for its flare-ups with some of its most recent happening on Oct. 5, Nov. 1 and 14, and Dec. 14 of last year and Jan. 18 of this year.

The nickname “devil comet” comes from the comet's outbursts which also gives it a horseshoe shape that looks like horns.

The “devil comet” will also occur simultaneously with the total solar eclipse on April 8 and will be seen in the sky during the event.

The comet was named after the two astronomers, one of them is Jean-Louis Pons, a French astronomer, who discovered it centuries ago.

Pons was known for being one of the best stargazers in history because he was able to spot comets without the help of advanced telescopic technology used today to find comets far out in space. His record for spotting 37 comets from 1801 to 1827 has still not been broken. He also discovered the “devil comet” in 1812.

British-born American comet observer William R. Brooks accidentally discovered the same comet decades later. He spotted 27 different comets during his lifetime.

Brooks discovered the “devil comet,” then known as the Pons comet, in 1883. He believed it was a new comet but after the first orbital calculations were made, it was deemed the same comet originally discovered by Pons in 1812. The comet now bears the surnames of both observers.

According to NASA, there are about 3,910 known comets.

Source: WDBJ7

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