This Saturday, December 9, the famous Halley’s Comet will be at aphelion – the point farthest from the Sun. The distance between them will then be 35.14 AU (almost 5.3 billion kilometers).
Halley’s Comet will be at aphelion on December 9 at 1 a.m. universal time (in Poland it will be 2 a.m.). This means that it will be at the furthest possible point in its orbit from the Sun. The distance between the celestial bodies will then be 35.14 AU (almost 5.3 billion kilometers). The comet’s speed will decrease to approximately 0.91 km per second.
Observing the comet at aphelion will be impossible, even with the most precise telescopes. The best moment to notice it will be in September 2061 – he points out NASA. It will then appear to observers from the northern hemisphere. The comet was last seen in 1986. Halley’s comet will be at aphelion again in about 76 years, i.e. in 2099.
Halley’s Comet will be at aphelion
Halley’s Comet, known in astronomical nomenclature as 1P Halley, is often referred to as the most famous comet. Thanks to it, the phenomenon of periodic comets was understood. Until the 18th century, it was thought that all such objects passed through the solar system only once. However, in 1705, English astronomer Edmond Halley, using Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity and planetary motion, correctly predicted that the comet would return in 1758. When this happened, the facility was named in his honor.
Later research made it possible to identify historical references describing the comet from over 2,000 years ago. One of the first observations of 1P Halley dates back to 467 BC. The object also made history in 1066, when its appearance was considered an announcement of the death of King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings. The writer Mark Twain is also associated with the comet. The Briton was born in 1935, when 1P Halley appeared in the sky, and died in 1910, when the comet reappeared.
Main photo source: public domain