Comet Atlas Might Have Needed 5,000 Years for a Revisit

Comet Atlas Might Have Needed 5,000 Years for a Revisit
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Scientists suspect that a comet coming within 23 million miles of our Sun about 5,000 years ago assured a spectacular celestial show for the Earth’s early inhabitants. The even more outstanding aspect is that comet Atlas (C/2019 Y4), which appeared in early 2020, is a broken-off piece of the visitor from five millennia ago.

Astronomer Quanzhi Ye of the University of Maryland in College Park came with the intriguing claim after he used data from NASA’s Hubble telescope. An argument is that the Atlas comes by following the same orbital path as that of a comet detected in 1844.

Atlas got disintegrated

Atlas got disintegrated even despite the fact that it was farther from the Sun than Earth is. The parent comet of Atlas likely didn’t follow the same pattern.

Quanzhi Ye declared as quoted by NASA’s website:

If it broke up this far from the Sun, how did it survive the last passage around the Sun 5,000 years ago? This is the big question,

It’s very unusual because we wouldn’t expect it. This is the first time a long-period comet family member was seen breaking up before passing closer to the Sun.

Scientists believed that the Atlas comet could even become bright as magnitude 0, which reaches the brightness of Vega. Atlas features a near-parabolic orbit, and it was discovered in December 2019. The constellation Monoceros was hosting Atlas.

According to CosmosMagazine.com, our planet is hit every year by roughly 6,100 meteors that are large enough to reach the surface. The vast majority of them reach the ground unnoticed. In other words, we should all consider ourselves lucky and thank nature for keeping us safe.
The new study was published in The Astronomical Journal.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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