A new comet will be visible to the naked eye in 2024

The comet was nicknamed  Tsuchinshan-ATLAS and is at a distance similar to that of Jupiter, but its brightness is increasing because its path points to the Sun.


An object that was discovered by China plowing through space last January was confirmed as a comet  by the Center for Minor Planets, dependent on the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The comet , which was sighted for the first time on January 9 by astronomers from the Purple Mountain Observatory located in the city of Nanjing (east), received the name Tsuchinshan-ATLAS on Wednesday from the astronomical authority, reported the state news agency Xinhua.

On February 22, the ATLAS automated telescope located in South Africa also took independent images of the object that helped confirm that it was a comet , so it was decided to make it part of the name as well.

The denomination represents the transliteration of the name of the mountain of the observatory, but instead of using the pinyin system, more in keeping with current times, the Wade-Gilles romanization, predominant in the 19th century, was used.

Visible next year

The star is currently at a distance of 7.3 astronomical units (each astronomical unit refers to the distance between the Earth and the Sun), which is greater than the distance to Jupiter, but on a trajectory that directs it towards the Sun, so its brightness will increase constantly.

Tsuchinshan-ATLAS is expected to be visible to the naked eye in September 2024, when it approaches the perihelion of its orbit, according to the astronomical observatory.

According to the list of numbered periodic comets of the Minor Planet Center, which in November 2021 consisted of 436 objects, two other stars, both discovered in 1965, were also named Tsuchinshan.