In a rare and intriguing celestial phenomenon, a colossal comet, ominously dubbed the "Devil Comet," is hurtling towards Earth for the second time in just four months.
Scientists and sky gazers are captivated by the unprecedented return of the comet, officially named 12P/Pons-Brooks, which boasts a size three times larger than the mighty Mount Everest.
Return of the 'Devil Comet'
In a remarkable cosmic event, the mammoth comet, measuring approximately 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) in diameter, has reappeared in our solar system.
This peculiar cryovolcanic or cold volcano comet is composed of a unique mixture of dust, gas, and ice known as cryomagma. At its core, the 12P comet is enveloped by a hazy cloud of gas referred to as a "coma." The comet has gained notoriety for its propensity to explosively release its icy interior into space when exposed to increased solar radiation.
Astronomers' surprising discovery
The British Astronomical Association (BAA) recently reported an astonishing revelation. On October 5, astronomers detected the "Devil Comet" shining brighter than ever before, largely due to its expanding coma, which was reflecting 12 times more light than usual.
The BAA has closely monitored the comet's behavior and speculates that, in the coming days, the comet will develop two horn-like structures, akin to an outburst observed in July.
The peculiar shape of the coma observed after the comet's previous explosion was attributed to an abnormality within the comet's nucleus, according to BAA astronomer Richard Miles. Notably, this marks the second explosive event involving the 12P comet, the first having occurred on July 20, during which horn-like emissions were an astounding 7,000 times wider than the comet itself.
Historic celestial wanderer
The 12P/Pons-Brooks comet was first discovered by astronomer Jean-Louis Pons on July 12, 1812. It is among the select few of approximately 20 comets known to host active ice volcanoes.
Social media reacts
The "Devil Comet" has ignited a wildfire of curiosity on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. People worldwide have reacted with a mix of humor and concern, sharing their thoughts and questions regarding this enigmatic celestial visitor.
Some have playfully pondered whether an asteroid is making daily visits, while others jokingly wondered if school should be canceled in anticipation of the comet's approach.
As astronomers continue to closely observe the 'Devil Comet' and its intriguing behavior, the world remains fascinated by this unexpected celestial event, offering us a glimpse into the mysterious and captivating wonders of our universe.