China’s satellite captured an amazing view of Comet Leonard during its close approach to Earth. The foreground shows a strong Aurora.  

The comet was discovered in January of this year. It has been moving at the speed of 160,000 miles an hour since its discovery.

The image was captured by Yangwang 1, which is a small satellite launched by Chinese technology company, Origin Space, based in Guangdong, China.

While it was moving at a slow pace, the comet approached Earth close to Earth on 12/12/2012. This marks the closest the comet has been to Earth for over 70,000 year.

A Chinese satellite captured a stunning view of Comet Leonard as it made its closest approach to Earth, with a strong Aurora visible in the foreground

China’s satellite captured an amazing view of Comet Leonard from the closest approach to Earth. There was also a visible Aurora in the background.


Comet Leonard, which is cataloged under C/2021 AI (astronomer who first found it), was named for the inventor.

Gregory J Leonard saw the comet on the Mount Lemmon Observatory, January 3, 2021.

It took a full year for it to reach perihelion, which is the nearest approach to the sun.

The sun’s last appearance in the solar system was 70,000 years ago. It is currently orbiting the sun for 70,000 years.

As it’s on a hyperbolic orbit it will reach the end of its journey. 

Two satellites created to see the Sun have captured footage of Comet Leonard on their one-way journey past Earth. 

Yangwang-1, a commercial space telescope was launched in January to capture the universe using visible and ultraviolet radiation. 

It’s also involved in the hunt for near Earth asteroids which can be extracted for minerals and then returned to Earth. 

Origin Space stated that it was China’s first space mission and is available to commercial and noncommercial users. 

On December 12, 2021, the spacecraft took an image of Comet Leonard in a constellation of distant stars. 

The commercial telescope has captured many aurora images, including this one. 

The ball of ice and dust is about half a mile wide, and was discovered in January 2021 by Gregory Leonard, who spotted it in images taken from the Mt. Lemmon Observatory, Arizona.

The bright green comet has been captured by astronomers in the backyard, as well as telescopes from around the globe.

Origin Space shared this colorized image of the comet, which shows its long tail visible in the night sky. 

This is similar to images captured by the NASA Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory Aspacecraft (STEREO-A), and the European Space Agency (ESA) Solar Orbiter observatory.

STEREOA is focused on the green comet from November and NASA was able create a quick animation from dozens images.

NASA released a “difference picture” to show the brightness changes caused by comets releasing volatile materials like water ice and gas.

ESA’s spacecraft captured video of the comet moving across the field between December 17th and 19th, 2021. This was a joint effort with NASA.

A pair of satellite designed to observe the sun have captured video of the bright green Comet Leonard, as it speeds past the Earth for the first time in 70,000 years

The bright green Comet Leonard speeds past Earth in the video captured by two satellites that were designed to see the sun.

Comet Leonard will come within millennia of the Sun on January 3, 2022. Before that, both satellites used to observe the sun were directed in its direction. 

NASA has created an animated difference image with a grainy background to show the comet as it moves through space.

To highlight the differences between the frames, this was done by subdividing the current frame from its predecessor. 

Difference images are useful for seeing subtle changes in Leonard’s ion tail, which is the trail of ionised gases streaming from the comet’s body.

The ball of ice and dust is about half a mile wide, and was captured by the NASA Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory Aspacecraft (STEREO-A) (right), and the European Space Agency (ESA) Solar Orbiter observatory (left)

It measures about half a kilometer in width and was taken by NASA Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory – Aspacecraft (right) as well as the European Space Agency (ESA – Solar Orbiter Observatory (left).

The clip ends with the light getting stronger and more extended. 

Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Camera (SoloHI), which was captured the video, showed it moving diagonally in its field, while Venus, Mercury, and the Milky Way are also clearly visible.

The short sequence shows Solar Orbiter moving toward the sidelong view, which reveals more of its tail while it travels through space. 

SoloHI continues to monitor the comet and may publish more video.

The Sun’s nearest pass will be on January 3rd 2022. It will come within 56,000,000 miles of our star. That is roughly half the distance from Earth to the Sun. 

If it doesn’t disintegrate on its way to the Sun, then Comet Leonard’s trajectory will fling it into interstellar space, never to return. 

Scientists believe it could be already splitting within a year of its discovery, or that it will soon begin to separate. 

If a comet’s orbit is close to the Sun it warms up, spewing dust and gases that create a gigantic glowing head bigger than other planets. 

It will make its closest approach to the Sun in millennia on January 3, 2022, and ahead of that event both solar observing satellites were pointed in its direction

On January 3, 2022 it will come within millennia of the Sun. Both solar-observing satellites pointed at its direction before that time. 

Comets – also called ‘cosmic snowballs’ or ‘icy dirtballs’ – are conglomerations of frozen gas, dust and ice left over from the formation of the solar system. 

The orbit they take around the Sun is highly elliptical. This means that their paths are not perfect circular. They can also spend thousands or hundreds of years deep in the Solar System’s darkest parts before coming back to the Sun for their “perihelion”. 

Comet Leonard, however, has a hyperbolic or orbit which means it will pass the Sun and be ejected into the Solar System. Earthlings won’t see it again.  

Comet Leonard was discovered in January 2021 by Gregory Leonard, who spotted it in images taken from the Mt. Lemmon Observatory in Arizona

Gregory Leonard, who saw it from images taken from Mt. Lemmon Observatory, Arizona 

When a comet's orbit brings it close to the Sun, it heats up and spews dust and gases into a giant glowing head larger than most planets

A comet is heated up when its orbit closes to the Sun. It spews gases and dust into a huge glowing head that’s larger than any other planets. 

Comet Leonard is likely to have spent 35,000 years traveling inbound, approximately 323 billion miles (352 billion km), and last visited the inner Solar System around 70,000 years ago.  

Comet Leonard approaches Earth closest on Sunday, 12/12/12 before its perihelion in January 3.  

A comet’s green tail is due to its greenish-colored interior. It heats up as it nears the Sun and emits first a blue dust. Then, yellow or white then green.

If it changes to a teal-colored colour it indicates it is hot, has lots of diatomic carbon, and may be at the highest risk for breaking up.    


This article is about asteroid This is large piece of rock leftover from early solar system collisions. The majority are between Mars, Jupiter and the Main Belt.

visit A rock that is covered with ice, methane or other compounds. They orbit much farther out than the sun.

Meteor This is what astronomers refer to as a flashing light in the atmosphere that occurs when debris starts burning up.

The debris is also known as “a” meteoroid. They are often so tiny that they evaporate in the air.

A meteoroid that makes it to Earth is known as a “A” Meteorite.

Meteoroids, meteoroids, and meteorites are usually created from comets and asteroids.