Written by Prapti Sen, a grade 5 student in Mumbai
Comets are big dusty snowballs that orbit around the sun. They become very hot when they go near the sun and leave a trail of glittery, sparkly dust and gases, including carbon dioxide. This part of the comet is known as the tail. Like the earth has a core, comets also have cores. The core of a comet is icy and cool and is called the nucleus. The nucleus is made up of frozen dust particles, rocks, and gases such as ammonia (a colourless liquid that produces a pungent smell), water, carbon dioxide, methane as well as carbon monoxide. Comets are mostly surrounded by big clouds of ice, dust particles, and gases, known as coma.
Whats is Comet Swan?
Comet Swan has been newly found on March 25, 2020 with the help of images taken by the Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN), by the Solar Heliospheric. Spacecrafts Observatory also known as SOHO, which is an instrument used to study the sun. Comet Swan, also known as C\2020 F8 has a speed of 64.3 km/per hour. It looks like a swan gliding across a lake. It is easy to find the link between the comet and the swans’ long neck and its feathery body.
According to researchers, comet Swan cannot be seen by untrained eyes. At times, this comet can be extremely bright and can be seen with a naked eye or without special equipment. Comet swan can be seen at 5:00 am or just one hour before sunrise on Monday, near the northeast of the horizon. Comet swan was discovered by a junior astronomer – Michael Mattiazzo. It can be seen from most of the continents except Africa and Antarctica.
I keep gazing at the sky and hope to see this comet soon!