A new comet has been spotted! The newly discovered C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is colloquially called Comet Leonard after its discoverer G. J. Leonard, who was observing at the Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona. C/2021 A1 is a hyperbolic comet, expected to be ejected from the Solar System after its pass near the sun later this year. But in the meantime, it will have an exciting existence, and may provide for some interesting viewing!


C/2021 A1’s closest approach to the Earth will be on December 12 of this year, and it will make its final pass closest to the sun just after the New Year, on January 3 of 2022. Depending on how it is affected by the space environment, it may become visible to the naked eye this coming winter; even if not, it should be spottable with simple optical instrumentation.


Observational Data: