Stargazers are excited. Comet 45P is taking center stage on New Year’s Eve, promising a cosmic fireworks display as it blazes by Earth for the first time in more than five years.
Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, or Comet 45P as it’s commonly called, should be easy to spot on New Year’s Eve as it nears the crescent moon.
It should be visible for a few hours right after sunset, above the western horizon, if the skies are clear, before setting with the moon.
The best way to find it is to first search for the planet Venus, the brightest light in the western sky.
You won’t be able to see the comet with the naked eye. You’ll need a pair of binoculars or a telescope to get a good look at it.
It won’t look like a planet or a star because it will cast off a bluish-green light with a fan-shaped tail trailing behind it.
The darker the area and the less light pollution, the better to see the comet.
If you miss the comet on New Year’s Eve, don’t worry. The best time to see it is next year on Feb. 11, when it passes closest to Earth.
Cox Media Group