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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 18 June 2024 12.50 AM IST

Monday's solar eclipse will be accompanied by another celestial spectacle; 12 P/Pons Brooks aka Green Devil's Comet to be seen

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Along with the total solar eclipse on April 8, there will be another celestial spectacle in many parts of the world. A comet known as the Green Devil's Comet or Devil's Comet may be visible. It is reappearing after 70 years. It will be seen near the Sun.

The original name of this comet is 12 P/Pons Brooks. The comet was discovered in July 1812 by French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons. In 1883, astronomer William Brooks discovered that it was the same comet he had seen in 1812. That is why it bears the names of the two astronomers.

This 17 km wide comet orbits the Sun every 70 years. It completes one orbit around the Sun once every 70 years. Therefore, seeing Ponce-Brooks is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

When radiation from the Sun hits, the comet's icy crust ruptures, spewing out cryomagma. These frequent explosions give the comet an irregular shape that makes it look like it has devil horns. Comets contain rock along with various gases and dust in a frozen form. As they approach the Sun, the gas escapes hot and a tail-like structure appears.

Nickname: Green Devil Comet

Reason for the Nickname: It is called the Green Devil because it emits green light.

Comet Type: Cryovolcanic Comet

Cryovolcanic activity: A mixture of water ice, ammonia ice, and other frozen volatiles erupts instead of magma.

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