The volcano comet is erupting more actively than in the past 40 years and has become 250 times brighter

Comet 29P / Schwassmann - Wachman 1 is a large short-period comet. German astronomers Arnold Schwassmann

and Arno Arthur Wachmann discovered it at the Hamburg Observatory. In fact, it is a colossal ball of ice about 60 km across.

As astronomer Tony Phillips recounts in an articlefor, the comet is "adorned with ice volcanoes that erupt 20 times a year." Object 29P was first discovered in 1927 on the orbital path between Saturn and Jupiter. The explosive nature of the Schwassmann - Wachman 1 comet has been known for several decades. However, it is now going through a particularly volatile period. For example, an amateur astronomer from Arizona Eliot Herman at the end of September observed the eruption of the comet four times in a row.

“The outbreak that began on September 25 is the mostenergetic over the past 40 years, '' said Dr Richard Miles of the British Astronomical Association in an article for "In just 56 hours, there were four eruptions, which led to that very 'super flash'." Thanks to her, the comet can be seen in the night sky. According to Miles, the lead researcher for 29P, it will likely not contain magma - at least not as we know it here on Earth. It is, rather, "cryomagma", a combination of cold liquid hydrocarbons, similar to those found in the lakes of Titan, the moon of Saturn.

To date, at least six volcanoes have been identified on the comet. As Philips notes in his article, Object 29P is "one of the most volcanically active bodies in the entire solar system."

Image 29P NASA / JPL / California Institute of Technology / Ames Research Center / University of Arizona

Moreover, a series of eruptions in September increasedthe brightness of the comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 is 250 times, and it has not yet decreased to normal levels. This means that now is a great time for amateur astronomers to look for a space volcano in the sky. Space observation site Sky & Telescope told how to find the 29P object in the night sky.

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