Comet Leonard discoverer explains how the unusual object was found

Discovered nearly a year ago, Comet Leonard is on its final tour of Earth’s neighborhood, lighting up the night sky for viewers this holiday season. 

Comet Leonard — the brightest and most anticipated comet of the year — was discovered by Gregory Leonard, a senior research specialist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, in January 2021. The comet was spotted, somewhat accidentally, using the Catalina Sky Survey’s 1.5-meter (60-inch) telescope at the Mount Lemmon Infrared Observatory, located in the Santa Catalina Mountains in Arizona.