- 2 New Comets And a Rare Trojan Asteroid Orbiting Earth Discovered by Astronomers Within 3 Weeks
First it was C/2021 A1 (Leonard), then C/2021 B3 (NEOWISE) and finally asteroid 2020 XL5.
C/2021 A1 (Leonard)
MPEC 2021-A99 announced the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~19.5) by Gregory J. Leonard on CCD images taken on Jan. 3.54-3.56 UT with the Mount Lemmon Survey’s 1.5-m reflector. Follow-up measurements were performed by professional astronomers, who acknowledged the discovery.
C/2021 A1 (Leonard) has a diffuse coma about 7″ in diameter. This comet has excellent brightness prospects for December 2021. In fact, before the perihelion on January 3, 2022, at a distance of 0.6 AU, comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) will pass just 0.233 AU from Earth on December 12, 2021 and it will have an exceptionally close pass of Venus at 0.028 AU on December 18, 2021.