Comet Nishimura | C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) : Celestial Visitor of 2023

Comet Nishimura : C/2023 P1 (Nishimura)

The Universe is a captivating subject that sparks our imagination. In this field of astronomical phenomena, Comets hold a special place. One such celestial visitor has recently graced our night sky. It is known as "Comet Nishimura" or scientifically as C/2023 P1 (Nishimura). This kilometer-sized comet, discovered by amateur Japanese astronomer Hideo Nishimura, has become a topic of discussion in astronomical circles and planetariums around the World. Let's dive into the fascinating World of Comet Nishimura, discovering its discovery, visibility, and the excitement it generates among sky lovers.

Comet Nishimura | C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) : Celestial Visitor of 2023
Image credit NASA

Discovery of Comet Nishimura

On August 12, 2023, Hideo Nishimura observed Comet Nishimura using a standard digital camera and a 30-second exposure. This time, this comet was on its journey in the universe. As long as there are astronomers like Hideo Nishimura, we will continue to get new information about the universe. The fact that this comet is named after Hideo Nishimura, pays tribute to Nishimura's keen eye and passion for astronomy.

A Kilometer-Sized Celestial Wanderer

Comet Nishimura is not a small body in the Universe. Its size is approximately one kilometer, which makes it an important celestial body. Comets, also known as "dirty snowballs," are composed of ice and dust. They offer valuable insights into the early Solar System's structure.

Orbital Journey of the Comet

1. The most interesting aspect of Comet Nishimura is its orbital trajectory. It is classified as a long-period comet, with an estimated orbital period of approximately 434 years. This means that it will not return close to the Earth even after many generations have passed.

2. Its last perihelion (the closest point in its orbit to the Sun) occurred around 1588. This rarity increases the excitement of its presence.

The Green Wanderer

1. Comet Nishimura is known for its distinct green color. This color comes from gases that are released when the comet's nucleus heats up as it approaches the Sun. 

2. Specifically, the green glow is caused by diatomic carbon (C2) molecules in the comet's coma, the cloud of gas and dust surrounding the nucleus. This greenish glow is a sight to behold for those lucky enough to spot it.

Visibility and Close Approach to Earth

One of the main reasons for discussion about Comet Nishimura is its visibility. As it continues its journey around the Sun, it is expected to pass relatively close to Earth in September 2023. During this time, there is a possibility that it may become visible to the naked eye, which would put on a spectacular astronomical show for skywatchers.

How to Observe Comet Nishimura

For those who are interested in getting a glimpse of Comet Nishimura, there are several Important tips to keep in mind:

1. Location Matters: For the best viewing experience, finding a location away from light pollution is important. Ideally, rural areas are best to watch this.

2. Use binoculars or telescopes: While there's a chance it might be visible without aids, binoculars or telescopes will provide a more detailed view.

3. Check Sky's Conditions: Keep an eye on weather forecasts to ensure clear skies during your observation time.

4. Timing is Important: Pay attention to when the comet is expected to be visible in your area, as comet appearances in the night sky are time-sensitive.

Comet Nishimura is currently in the constellation of Leo. It is located at Right Ascension 10h 49m 24s and Declination +21° 20' 06". It is currently about 78 million miles (125 million km) from Earth.


Comet Nishimura, with its green glow and remarkable journey through the Universe, Is undoubtedly a celestial marvel. Its discovery by an amateur astronomer adds a touch of Serendipity to its story, proving that the Wonders of the Universe are accessible to anyone with a passion for stargazing. As it graces our night skies in 2023, Comet Nishimura invites us to look up, ponder our place in the Universe, and appreciate the beauty and mysteries of the Universe. So, if you have the opportunity, grab your binoculars or telescope and join the ranks of the lucky ones who can witness this spectacular cosmic phenomenon.

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Ques1. How long will Comet Nishimura be visible?

Ana1. The visibility of a comet-like Comet Nishimura can vary depending on its trajectory, brightness, and distance from Earth. Comets are typically visible for several weeks to a few months. For specific information about Comet Nishimura's visibility, consult an updated astronomical resource or observatory, as this can change over time.

Ques2. Is Green Comet real?

Ana2. Yes, green comets are real. The green color in comets is often caused by the presence of diatomic carbon (C2) and cyanogen (CN) molecules in the comet's coma (the cloud of gas and dust surrounding the nucleus). These molecules can emit green light when exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet radiation.

Ques3. Which comet will be visible in 2024?

Ana3. In 2024, one notable comet that may be visible is C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS). The comet is expected to become visible at night in 2024, potentially presenting a captivating astronomical display. Comet C/2023 A3 is known for its extraordinary brightness and if it lives up to expectations, it could outshine many stars. Due to its brightness, it is also called the "Star Wars Comet" in some sources.

Ques4. How many comets will be visible in 2023?

Ana4. The visibility of comets in a given year can vary, and it is challenging to predict the exact number of comets that will be visible in any specific year. The appearance and visibility of comets depend on their orbits and brightness, which can change. Astronomers are always observing the sky for comets, and new ones can be found unexpectedly.

Ques5. What comet comes every 1000 years?

Ana5. No specific comet has a regular orbital period of exactly 1000 years. The orbital periods of comets can vary widely, with some returning in years or decades, while others may take centuries or even longer to complete their orbit around the Sun. The periodicity of comets depends on their individual orbital characteristics. Some famous periodic comets, like Halley's Comet, return approximately every 76 years, while others have much longer periods.

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