Comet Leonard soars above the plume of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Launch, as the bright green and icy iceball passes Earth. This is the first appearance in over 70,000 YEARS.

  • NASA selected the photo to be its Astronomy Picture Of The Day
  • This photo was taken in Thailand. It also features a pagoda located in Doi Inthanon national park.
  • You can see at the top the plume from James Webb Space Telescope’s launch
  • Comet Leonard is seen flying beneath it as it approaches Earth.  

NASA shared this stunning photograph of Comet Leonard flying behind NASA’s James Webb Space telescope launch plume.

NASA’s Astronomy Pic of the Day featured this amazing shot from Thailand. The foreground shows DoiInthanon National Park and a pagoda.

James Webb Space Telescope, launched Christmas Day, is currently traveling a mile to reach solar orbit. This journey is estimated to last around one month.

Comet Leonard was discovered only in January and is currently making its closest approach in about 70,000 years to Earth.

NASA has shared a stunning photo of Comet Leonard soaring behind the plume from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope launch

NASA shared this stunning photograph of Comet Leonard flying behind NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launch plume.


C/2021 AI is the name of comet Leonard. It was discovered by an astronomer in 1921.

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

This happened one year prior to it reaching perihelion, which is the nearest approach to the sun.

It was last seen in the inner solar systems 70,000+ years ago.

It will orbit this star on its final orbit, as it is currently traveling in a hyperbolic path. This means it will exit the solar system following its near approach to its host star. 

NASA explained, “Which of these two streaks are a comet?” Both have similar features to comets, but the lower one is the real comet.

“The lower streak is Comet Leonard’s tail and coma. This block of rocky, city-sized ice passes through the Inner Solar System during its spiraling orbit around Sun.

Comet Leonard made its closest approach recently to Earth and will circle the Sun next week.

NASA said that the comet was still visible with an unaided eye but it has been developing a longer and more complex tail.

“In contrast, however, the upper streak represents the launch plume from the Ariane V rocket which lifted the James Webb Space Telescope(JWST), off the Earth on February 2, 2012.”

Comet Leonard’s nearest pass to the Sun will be on January 3, 2022. It will reach 56 million mile of our star. That is roughly half the distance from Earth and 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. 

However, scientists believe that the organism may be disintegrating less than one year after its first discovery. Or, they will split soon. 

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

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.

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.

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. 

They orbit the Sun in an extremely elliptical orbit, which means they aren’t perfectly circular. 

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 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 came closest to Earth before it perihelioned on January 3.  

Because its interior of icy rocks heats up closer to the Sun it emits a blue dust first, followed by yellow, white, and then finally green.

It will turn this teal color if it does. This indicates that the comet has reached its maximum temperature, is rich in cyanide, and is most likely to burst.       

Explained: What is the difference between an asteroid and a meteorite?

This article is about asteroid A large amount of rock that was left from the collisions and early solar system. The majority are between Mars, Jupiter and the Main Belt.

Comet A rock that is covered with ice, methane or other compounds. Their orbits lead them further from the solar system.

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

It is sometimes called a debris. meteoroid. Many of them are small enough to be vapourized in the atmosphere.

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

Asteroids and comets are the usual sources of meteoroids, meteoroids, and meteorites.

One example is that if Earth passes by the tail end of a comet it will cause a lot of debris to burn up and form a meteor Shower.