Comet Pons-Brooks Lights Up Italian Night Sky

Comet Pons-Brooks Lights Up Italian Night Sky. The Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks continues to captivate Italian stargazers: after the image taken during its approach to the Sun, it was again immortalized by the Gruppo Astrofili Palidoro as it illuminated with its trail the indigo sky over an ancient farmhouse on the outskirts of Rome at sunset.

“This is truly a magical vision at sunset of the comet 12P/Pons Brooks taken on March 21, 2024 at Casale Delle Pietrische, property of the Università Agraria Manziana,” the astrologers explained in a note.

The image was obtained by Marco D’Angelo, who took a single 30-second shot of the farmhouse illuminated by torchlight, while for the sky he took 10 shots of 60 seconds each. The whole was then processed with the help of Giuseppe Conzo, president of the Gruppo Astrofili Palidoro.

La cometa 12P dà spettacolo sopra un antico casale vicino Roma ...

Section 1

The comet 12P returns to visit the Sun every about 71 years and for this reason it belongs to the family of periodic comets, the same as the more famous Halley’s comet. Discovered on July 12, 1812 by the astronomer Jean-Louis Pons, comet 12P was rediscovered in its next passage (1883) by William Robert Brooks, from whom it took its name. Its distinctive feature, as explained by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtul Telescope Project, is its significant increases in brightness, called ‘outbursts’. During its current passage, about ten have already been recorded since last July: the first gave its coma an irregular shape that makes it resemble the famous Millennium Falcon spaceship from Star Wars and that earned it the nickname ‘horned’ comet.

Section 2

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is a periodic comet that orbits the Sun every 70.5 years. It was discovered by Jean-Louis Pons in 1812 and rediscovered by William Robert Brooks in 1883. The comet is known for its outbursts, which are sudden increases in brightness. During its current apparition, the comet has experienced several outbursts, including one in July 2023 that made it visible to the naked eye.

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is currently visible in the evening sky. It is expected to reach its closest approach to Earth on March 26, 2024, when it will be about 26 million kilometers from Earth. The comet will then continue to move away from Earth and will become fainter in the sky.

Section 3

Q: What is a comet?

A: Comets are small, icy bodies that orbit the Sun. They are made up of a nucleus of ice and dust, and a tail of gas and dust that is created when the nucleus is heated by the Sun.

Q: What is the difference between a comet and an asteroid?

A: Comets and asteroids are both small, rocky bodies that orbit the Sun. However, comets are made up of ice and dust, while asteroids are made up of rock and metal. Comets also have tails, while asteroids do not.

Q: How often does Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks visit the Sun?

A: Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks visits the Sun every about 71 years.

Section 4

If you are interested in seeing Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, you should look for it in the evening sky. It will be visible to the naked eye if it is dark enough. You can also use binoculars or a telescope to get a better view of the comet.


Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is a beautiful and fascinating object. It is a reminder of the vastness of our solar system and the wonders that are still out there to be discovered. I encourage you to take some time to look for Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks in the sky. You won’t be disappointed.