STATES CHRONICLE – Researchers have identified Comet 41p approaching our plant on April 1st. It took them about a century to identify this comet. Officials at NASA argued that this might have been the closest flyby of the comet in over 50 years. When the comet reaches its closest point, it will be at about 12 million miles away from our planet.
On April 1st, Comet 41p passed right by our planet
According to data provided by NASA, the Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini –Kresak was first spotted in 1907. NASA officials claimed that the comet was visible from Earth if skywatchers used a telescope or some binoculars to look for it in the sky. Representatives from NASA pointed out that sky gazers in the Northern Hemisphere could have seen it somewhere near the constellations Ursa Major and Draco.
Specialists were not able to predict whether Comet 41p would put up an amazing show. Nevertheless, they remembered that Comet 41p had displayed fantastic lights and outbursts in 1973. They hoped that this comet would have shown a better celestial show, with brighter outbursts. Scientists estimated that the comet would reach the closest point to the sun on April 12.
Tuttle was the one who first discovered this comet in 1858
On March 31, the Slooh online observatory managed to record Comet 41p via remotely operated telescopes where the comet looked like a green light in the night sky. People who are curious about this comet can see the video captured by Slooh here. Comet 41p/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak got its name after the names of its three discoverers, L’ubor Kresak, Michael GIacobini and Horace Tuttle.
They have separately tracked this comet, analyzing it for more than a hundred years. Tuttle spotted this comet for the first time back in 1858. Back then, 41p was identified as being a periodic comet, as Gary Kronk stated on the Cometography website however, the length of its orbit was not determined at that time. Back in 1907, the comet was also spotted by Giacobini.
Nevertheless, Andrew Crommelin, another astronomer has put together the two studies developed by Tuttle and Giacobini and was able to predict that Comet 41p would pass near our planet in 1928 and 1934, but it could not be visible from Earth. In 1951, Kresak had seen the comet and connected it with the previous studies and, thus, the identity of the comet was specified.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia