For the past several weeks there has been talk in the astronomy community about C/2021 A1 (Leonard) this comet is currently on a path to get closest to the sun early in January, but later in December it might become bright enough to see with a unaided eye if you can go to a dark sky.

This comet is a “once in a lifetime” as it has a long orbit

If you see chatter about this being a “Once in a Lifetime” event, lets talk about why, it’s orbital period, or the time it takes to orbit the sun is on a huge 30,000+ year timeline. Predicting comets and how bright they get is a difficult science.

How and when to see it

So how bright will it get? Local astrophotographer, Mario @AstroFrog86 took this picture recently of comet Leonard. Predictions from various sources hint that it might be bright enough to easily see with binoculars if you are in a dark sky. The chances remain low that we can see it with the unaided eye.

We’ll keep you up to date on Comet Leonard in the coming weeks on where and how to see it.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson