While this month is going to be a bright one with several celestial events happening, near the end is going to be something truly spectacular. Around the 29th or 30th, we could be able to see a comet as it appears closest to our planet.
This comet is known as ATLAS and it could be visible to the naked eye for those in the Northern Hemisphere as April comes to an end. While right now it is only something that can be seen using viewing equipment like a telescope, lots are keeping an eye on it as it continues to get brighter and brighter. According to Damian Peach, on March 29th the comet appeared to be gaining a tail which for those who know what that means raises expectations.
— Damian Peach (@peachastro) March 30, 2020
CNET reported as follows on the topic:
Something bright and shiny to look at in the night sky sounds like a welcome distraction amid the coronavirus pandemic right now. Some astronomers think the comet, formally called C/2019 Y4, could put on a big show, perhaps growing as bright as Venus.
In recent weeks, the comet has brightened rapidly as it comes in for a May 31 close encounter with the sun. Earlier this week astronomer Tony Phillips wrote that images from amateur astronomers indicate the comet’s gaseous atmosphere could be half as wide as the sun.
“Right now, Comet ATLAS is certainly the biggest green thing in the solar system.”
The early observations have fueled a lot of excitement that Atlas could be the most spectacular comet in years.
Astronomers have estimated that Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS) could pass within 25 million miles (40 million km) of the Sun on May 31, 2020. It may brighten significantly along the way https://t.co/iSYskbir2h pic.twitter.com/FzWJb7IRPv
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) March 16, 2020
Atlas could be visible to the naked eye around the last few days of April or the first few days of May. That being said, comets are quite unpredictable in this sense and while it might be hyped up things are not set in stone until they’re actually happening. To learn more on this topic please check out the videos below.