12P Pons-Brooks (2024)

12P/Pons–Brooks is a periodic comet, meaning it has a regular orbit and returns on a predictable schedule. The orbit for 12P is 71 years. When comets return within two centuries, they are referred to as “Halley-type” comets. 12P is a very bright comet. It was independently “discovered” in 1812 and 1813 by Jean-Louis Pons, a French astronomer and comet hunter, and William Robert Brooks, an American comet-chaser (British-born). They were both the most prolific comet discoverers of all time. Pons discovered 37 in his lifetime and Brooks discovered 27.

A crescent-like appearance of the nucleus, giving the impression of two horns, earned 12P the nickname, “the Devil Comet.”

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