Nainital: Astronomers are an unhappy lot as they would not be able to see the spectacular sight created by comets in the sky as Comet Elenin, which is set to pass by Earth late on Sunday night, has lost its sheen. The scientists apprehend that the colour of Elenin has faded after it was damaged due to the solar storm.

Elenin is also known as the ‘Doomsday Comet’ as it has been linked to the much-talked about catastrophe to our planet in 2012. Astronomers believe the solar storm hit Elenin, reducing it into a stream of debris.

A comet is known for its exquisite character of having long shining trail which provides a scenic beauty of natural fireworks followed by meteor-shower in the sky.

Comet Elenin will pass by the earth from a distance of 3.5 kilometre on Octobers 16 midnight. Scientists are of the view that the Doomsday Comet lost its way towards the solar system probably because of gravitation of some star.

While passing by earth on Sunday, Elenin would be seen near to Lota Cancri star of the constellation Cancer, scientists say adding that the comet would be near to planet Mars during that time, but would be viewed only with the help of a medium range microscope.

According to RC Kapoor, retired scientist of Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Elenin was very close to the Sun on September 10 during which it was trapped in a nasty solar storm which disintegrated it. He insists people not to worry much about the celestial activity.

Notably, Elenin was discovered by the Russian astronomer Leonid Elenin on December 10 last year. The comet is of 5 km diameter.

(JPN/Bureau)