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Views of comet Leonard from two sun-watching spacecraft 5nvklj





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Views of comet Leonard from two sun-watching spacecraft

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Tue Dec 21, 2021 11:54 pm

Comet Leonard was discovered in January 2021 by Gregory Leonard, who spotted it in images taken from the Mt. Lemmon Observatory in Arizona.

Its closest pass on Jan. 3, 2022 will take it within 56 million miles (90 million kilometers) of the Sun, slightly more than half Earth's distance.

If it doesn't disintegrate, its trajectory will fling it into interstellar space, never to return.


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Views of comet Leonard from two sun-watching spacecraft 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Tue Dec 21, 2021 11:55 pm

Views of comet Leonard from two sun-watching spacecraft Views-of-comet-leonard
Credit: ESA/NASA/NRL/SoloHI/Guillermo Stenborg

When Comet Leonard, a mass of space dust, rock and ice about a half-mile (1 kilometer) wide, makes its closest pass of the Sun on Jan. 3, 2022, it will be a journey 40,000 years in the making.

Ahead of its close pass, two Sun-observing spacecraft captured these views of the comet.


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Views of comet Leonard from two sun-watching spacecraft 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Tue Dec 21, 2021 11:57 pm



Comet Leonard Views from ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter Spacecraft

Comet Leonard streaks across the field of view of the SoloHI telescope aboard ESA/NASA's Solar Orbiter spacecraft on Dec. 17-19, 2021.

The comet's apparent backward movement is due to the spacecraft's relative motion.


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Views of comet Leonard from two sun-watching spacecraft 334pu7m

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