NASA confirms the 'devil comet' racing toward Earth has erupted growing 'horns'

For the second time this month, the 'devil comet' that is currently headed toward Earth has erupted, sprouting its iconic and very distinctive 'horns'.

1 minute & 39 seconds read time

NASA's database has confirmed that the "devil comet," officially named 12P/Pons-Brooks, is on its way to Earth, and throughout its journey, it has erupted, sprouting some pretty interesting "horns".

NASA confirms the 'devil comet' racing toward Earth has erupted growing 'horns' 526121

The last time that 12P/Pons-Brooks came this close to Earth was more than 70 years ago, as its orbit takes it far away from our planet to the outer reaches of the solar system before it makes its slow, but steady journey back around the Sun. So, what makes 12P/Pons-Brooks a "devil comet"? Firstly, 12P/Pons-Brooks poses no danger to Earth, and astronomers have nicknamed it a devil comet for outgassing, which is caused by the Sun heating up its interior, resulting in a large amount of pressure building up under its icy crust.

This pressure then breaks through the icy shell, causing gas and dust to surround the comet, which is technically called the comet's coma. These outbursts of the comet's insides result in "horns" forming, or at least that is what it looks like to astronomers who are observing the comet from the perspective of Earth. Notably, 12P/Pons-Brooks is a massive comet, measuring 10.5 miles across, or the approximate size of two Mount Everests stacked on top of each other.

12P/Pons-Brooks will be at its closest approach to Earth at 1.5 astronomical units (AU). 1 AU is the distance between the Sun and Earth.

Buy at Amazon

Starfield: Standard Edition - Xbox Series X

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 12/6/2023 at 9:30 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags