A giant comet three times the size of Mount Everest is flinging its way through space towards Earth . . . and it has horns.
The space rock has been named 12P/Pons-Brooks and is classified as a cryovolcanic comet, also known as a cold volcano comet, because it has actually exploded. The blasted giant rock – or massive pieces of rock, to be accurate – was first thought to reach its closest point with Earth on April 21, 2024, but that has now been moved back to June, when it is though that it will slam into our orbit.
First seen in 1812, the beast has been on the radar of experts for months, and as well as being an exploded ball of flames, it has now grown what can only be described as devil horns.
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This is the second time in four months that Pons-Brooks has experienced this, and when seen through a telescope, it looks like an enormous set of horns are coming out of it. Experts say the rock will be approximately the same size as Halley’s comet, which was last visible to the naked eye nearly 80 years ago. 12P/Pons-Brooks also shares similarities with the famous comet since it has a 71-year orbit of the sun.
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It will be visible to see with the naked eye on around June 2, although it can also be seen any time between May and the end of June next year. It is currently found somewhere near the constellation of Hercules – East-North-East direction at an altitude of 36 degrees above the horizon. As it moves closer to Earth, the comet is likely to keep exploding.
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Pieces of the exploded comet will remain in outer space and will be flung back in 2095. However, it is by no means the most volatile volcanic comet in the solar system. When it comes close to Earth, it will be around 144 million miles away, so the likelihood of it actually having any impact on us is pretty small.
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