It’s no joke … On April 1st – traditionally known as April Fool’s Day – Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak will be making its closest approach to Earth. We here at Slooh will be tracking the “April Fool’s Day Comet” live through our telescopes in the Canary Islands.
Comet 41P was first discovered back in 1858, by astronomer Horace Tuttle. Tuttle is also credited with discovering several other comets, including the famous Swift-Tuttle, the comet which gives us the yearly Perseid Meteor Shower. 41P was then rediscovered some time later by its other two namesakes, Michel Giacobini (in 1907) and Ľubor Kresák (in 1951).
41P belongs to a group of comets know as “Jupiter comets”. These are comets that have been captured by the gravity of Jupiter, forcing them in an orbit that takes them between the Sun and the gas giant.
Take a break from a day of pranks and jokes and enjoy a coverage of a Comet that only travels around the Sun every 5.5 years. This closest approach will be the closest encounter with Earth for over a century at a distance of 0.14AU (13.67 million miles).
Slooh will also be tracking the comet in the Space Situation Room in the week leading up to the close approach.