The bright Comet Leonard will be seen in a free live webcast tonight

The Live Webcast to track newfound Comet

A live webcast will follow the passage of a newly discovered comet through a dense cluster of stars visible in Earth’s sky.

Tonight, the brilliant Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard), also known as Comet Leonard, will pass over Messier 3 in Canes Venatici (Dec. 2). Binoculars will be able to see both objects from dark-sky areas. For a few hours, they’ll be close enough to view via a single telescope field of vision.

The Rome-based Virtual Telescope Project will webcast the flyby for anyone who finds it too chilly, light-polluted, or otherwise inconvenient to observe. This will begin on Thursday at 10 p.m. EST (0300 GMT Friday, Dec. 3). This webcast is likewise contingent on favorable weather at the viewing station, according to the editor.

In an e-mail to, project founder Gianluca Masi said, “At that particular moment, the two objects will be extremely close, presumably, in the sky.” “The comet tail will progressively move in front of the cluster,” says the astronomer.

Get your cameras ready for the sight!

In the night sky of December, amateur astronomers will be able to see Comet Leonard. If you want to see planets in the sky with a telescope or binoculars, check out our list of the best binoculars and telescope offers right now.

If you miss the broadcast, there are still two ways to see the comet at its best: one with your astronomical equipment, and the other through a second event with the Virtual Telescope Project.

The comet will pass past the fainter globular cluster NGC 5466, often known as the Snowglobe Cluster, in the night sky on Friday night (Dec. 3) during EST hours. The Virtual Telescope Project will then make a second broadcast on Leonard on Tuesday, December 7.

According to Masi, the webcast will begin at 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT) when the Earth is near to the comet’s orbital plane or path through space, providing a relatively brilliant picture.

According to Masi, there’s a potential that the Dec. 8 programme will include a view of Leonard’s “anti-tail.” This is a bright spot that appears to be opposite the comet’s normally visible gas and a dust tail. This feature is a thin strip of dust ejected by comets that are best visible as the Earth passes through the orbital plane of the comet.

On Jan. 3, astronomer Gregory J. Leonard discovered the comet at the Mount Lemmon Infrared Observatory, about 17 miles (27 kilometres) northeast of Tucson, Arizona.

Leonard hasn’t yet reached maximum brightness; comets are rarely brilliant enough to be seen with the naked eye, but amateur astronomers are keeping an eye out just in case.

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