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Comet A1 Leonard is a long period comet. It was discovered by GJ Leonard in January 2021. It was the first comet to be discovered in 2021. The comet will pass near the earth on December 18, 2021. It reached naked eye visibility in December 2021. It is to make its closest approach to the sun in January 2022.
A1 Leonard is long period comet
The long period comets have eccentric orbits. Their periods range is greater than 200 years. It is usually from thousands to even millions of years. On the other hand, the short period comets are those comets whose orbital period is less than 200 years. Their orbits take them beyond the outer planets (Jupiter and the rest). The short period comets are believed to have originated from Centaurs.
A1 Leonard has a retrograde orbit
Retrograde orbit is the rotational motion of the astronomical object in the direction opposite to the rotation of the primary. On the other hand, prograde orbit is the motion of the object in the same direction as that of its primary. Assume, sun is rotating west to east. If the earth is revolving west to east, then the earth’s orbit is called prograde. If the earth is revolving east to west then the orbit is called retrograde.
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