Rock on: ‘Devil comet’ will bring its horns swooping by Earth this summer
Comet 12/P Pons-Brooks does not pose a threat to the planet, but there’s a chance it will be visible to the naked eye this June.
By Denise Chow
Comet chasers: Give the devil his due.
A comet with two distinct “horns” of gas and ice, earning it the nickname “devil comet” is speeding through the inner solar system and may be visible to the naked eye in the spring when it reaches its closest point to Earth.
The celestial object, formally known as Comet 12/P Pons-Brooks, does not pose a threat to the planet. Instead, the cosmic interloper provides an opportunity for skywatchers to try to spot the comet as it nears Earth on its 71-year orbit around the sun.
Comet 12/P Pons-Brooks will reach perihelion, or the point in its orbit closest to the sun, on April 21, 2024. Shortly after that, on June 2, the comet will pass closest to Earth. During that time, if conditions are clear and skies are dark enough, astronomers have said that the comet may be bright enough to see with the naked eye.