Yesterday, the night sky unveiled a spectacular surprise—a comet that had unexpectedly brightened by a staggering 100-fold and developed swept-back horns, transforming it into a striking resemblance to the Millennium Falcon, the legendary starship from the Star Wars movies. This extraordinary celestial event caught the attention of the Comet Chasers, a dedicated team of researchers led by Helen Usher from Cardiff University in Wales, U.K.
Dubbed the Millennium Falcon Comet, this celestial wonder is none other than Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks. Astronomers were left in awe after witnessing its sudden luminous outburst on July 20th, accompanied by double plumes of debris emanating from its core, shaping it into a likeness of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.
To closely monitor this rare and fascinating comet, the Comet Chasers are utilizing the advanced global Las Cumbres Observatory network. Their pursuit of understanding and studying this unique cosmic spectacle promises to shed light on the mysteries of our universe.