Comet C/2021 A1 — a.k.a. Comet Leonard — is on a last dash through our solar system before disappearing a little later in 2022. The comet has been a dazzling sight in binoculars or telescopes, appearing with a twisted tail and if you have a great camera, a green coma.
Shortly after Comet Leonard’s discovery, it was just a small dot in the sky from Earth’s view. This animation shows the object’s path as seen by discoverer Gregory Leonard at the Catalina Sky Survey in January 2021. Leonard told Space.com that he was immediately able to see the comet’s coma, or its tenuous atmosphere. “I also detected a little stubby tail, and that, of course, is another telltale sign that it’s likely a comet,” he said.