Your Local News | Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Environment & Science

Watching the Skies with Brad Klein | April 1 – 7: The Devil's Comet

Watching the skies with Brad Klein

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Brad Klein reviews the week’s astronomical highlights with Bethlehem’s ‘Backyard Astronomy Guy,’ Marty McGuire.

This week… a visitor from deep space is nearing its closest approach to our sun. Comet 12P Pons/Brooks is known as the Devil’s Comet since its tail can appear ‘horned’ in the night sky.

No two comets are exactly the same, and so brightness, and the best time to observe the Devil’s Comet, can be hard to predict. McGuire says that this comet, which orbits the sun once every 71 years, is estimated to be about 18-miles across.

If it were to impact Earth, the results would be catastrophic. But McGuire says that this meteor poses no threat to our planet.

Comet Lovejoy.jpg
NASA Goddard
Comet 'Lovejoy' photographed in 2017 by NASA. Another comet — Comet 12P Pons/Brooks, or the so-called Devil's Comet — will be visible in the night sky in April.

It does offer an opportunity to stargazers.

Brad and Marty
Christine Dempsey
Brad Klein and Marty McGuire.

Look in the western sky just after sunset, toward the end of this month, and you may be able to spot it between the bright planet Jupiter and the horizon.

Binoculars will be necessary.