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    Polish astronomer Dr. Kacper Wierzchoś discovered his fourth comet

    Polish astronomer Dr. Kacper Wierzchoś has discovered his fourth previously unknown comet. In an interview with PAP on Thursday, he reported that it is a periodic comet that circles the Sun every 12.8 years.

    “I found the comet on the night of Jan. 25 and, following procedures, reported the object to the Minor Center Planet, an institution of the International Astronomical Union. After a week, the comet’s existence was confirmed, acknowledged, and announced under the name P/2022 B1,” said Wierzchoś. 

     

    “This is a great joy for me because comets are my passion,” he added. Dr. Wierzchoś confirmed to PAP (Polish Press Agency) that in the number of comets discovered so far by Polish astronomers throughout history he has matched his idol, Antoni Wilk (1876-1940), who “with very simple instruments” found four comets. The scientist expressed hope that by searching the sky while working on the telescope, he will discover more comets that have never been seen before.

     

    The 33-year-old Lublin-born astronomer works at Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona, USA, on the Catalina Sky Survive project of NASA’s Planetary Defense Program. The astronomer’s job is to discover Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), including potentially dangerous ones, but he also comes across comets during his search.

     

    He is currently credited with the discovery of four comets and an asteroid of several meters in diameter, the so-called Little Moon, which orbited our planet unnoticed for three years. The Pole also found hundreds of previously unknown objects with orbits passing close to our planet. 

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