Comet Leonard Lights up Jordan’s Sky

Amman — The new Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) was observed in the Kingdom’s sky on Monday and Tuesday of this week in Wadi Rum region, about one hour and half before sunrise, according to astronomer Imad Mujahed of the Wadi Rum Observatory.

Speaking to the Jordan News agency (Petra) on Thursday, Mujahed indicated that astronomer Gregory J. Leonard, a senior research specialist, discovered the comet that now bears his name in the beginning of this year, noting that the new comet has been approaching both the Sun and Earth to reach the closest distance from the sun on January 3, 2022.

Creative Commons

He added that comet will rise out of the ordinary to reach its nearest point from Earth on December 12, 2021, at a distance of about 14 million km, moving away after that to return again after about 35,000 years, according to astronomical studies.

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard), the Jordanian astronomer said, increases in brightness in December so it can be seen by unaided eye during the current month’s clear and dark nights, adding that it can be observed more clearly by the binoculars.