Rare Comet Spotted In The Abu Dhabi Desert – Here’s How You Can View It This Week!

Something magnificent was spotted from the vast expanse of the Abu Dhabi desert. In a stunning photograph captured by the Al Khatt Astronomical Observatory on March 27, you can see the skies being illuminated by a rare comet – the ‘devil comet’. This rather unfortunate nickname has been given to this frankly beautiful comet because of its distinctive twin horns. However, the scientific name for this comet is ‘Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks’. But to keep things more on the non-scientific side, I’ll continue to refer to it as the devil comet while I tell you exactly how you can spot this beauty for yourself this week.

Also read: There’s A Total Solar Eclipse Happening On April 8th – Can You View It?

When Is The Best Time To View The Devil Comet?

This extraordinary comet is set to reach its closest point to the sun on April 21, followed by its nearest approach to Earth on June 2, as confirmed by the International Astronomy Centre (IAC). But mark your calendars for April 8, as NASA predicts heightened visibility during the total solar eclipse.

A true rarity, this periodic comet only occurs every 71 years since its discovery in 1812, with its last Earthly appearance dating back to 1954 and the next one possibly happening in 2095! While the comet is expected to brighten as it draws nearer, catching a glimpse becomes trickier as it approaches the horizon and the sun. So, be sure to plan your trip out to the Abu Dhabi desert this weekend.

What’s The Best Way To Witness This Comet?

For aspiring stargazers in the UAE, the International Astronomy Centre offers handy tips on spotting 12P/Pons-Brooks (thought I’d switch it up for a little change). Simply look to the west approximately 45 minutes after sunset, where the comet is expected to hover at an altitude of about 15 degrees above the setting sun. Utilize smart apps that map the night sky to pinpoint the comet’s location among the stars – binoculars are also useful to help enhance your viewing experience. Initially appearing as a hazy speck, keen observers may even catch a glimpse of its magnificent tail when viewed from a dark, unobstructed location.

Let’s seize the moment to gaze at this rare celestial spectacle and make a grand experience out of it – for it is these such spectacles that remind us of the boundless beauty of our universe and beyond.

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