Comet Nishimura will attain perihelion (the closest level to the Solar in its orbit) on Sept. 18 and, if it isn’t damaged up by the Solar’s vitality, will then swing again round and head again out into the Photo voltaic System. In that case, it will likely be seen to observers within the Southern Hemisphere, the place it can seem very low within the western sky at nightfall by means of the top of September. Northern Hemisphere observers will probably lose sight of Comet Nishimura after Sept. 13.
Comet Nishimura is called after Hideo Nishimura of Japan, the novice astronomer who found the comet on Aug. 12, 2023. It probably got here from the Oort Cloud, a distant area of the Photo voltaic System.
Comets like this have inexperienced heads, however this coloration doesn’t lengthen to their tails. It’s because the inexperienced coloration is brought on by diatomic carbon, a extremely reactive molecule that’s created from the interplay between daylight and natural matter on the comet’s head after which virtually instantly destroyed once more by the Solar’s vitality earlier than it might probably transfer removed from the nucleus.