SCIENCE

Comet’s dust trail could rain down on Venus this December

A computer-generated image of Venus

SCIEPRO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A comet approaching the sun from the outer solar system might sweep a trail of dust particles over the planet Venus when it swings into the inner reaches of our planetary neighbourhood this December.

On 18 December, Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) will zip past Venus at what is, in astronomical terms, a hair’s-breadth distance of just 4.3 million kilometres. As Venus continues on its orbital path, it will move through a swathe of space close to where the comet was about 72 hours earlier.

Computer …

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