You'd Better Watch Out, The Christmas Comet Is Coming to Town

You'd Better Watch Out, The Christmas Comet Is Coming to Town

Although it's been visible to those with telescopes and powerful binoculars for a few weeks, 46P/Wirtanen will be both at its brightest, and most easily found, on and around December 16, 2018.

IN NEWS of potentially Biblical proportions, a comet is set to pass unusually close to Earth this December, giving sky-watchers across Ireland a rare festive treat.

At this distance, it will be a mere 7.1 million miles away from Earth, which is close is astronomical terms.

The comet officially known as 46P/Wirtanen is making its way across the skies this coming weekend. Comets rarely get bright enough to see without telescopes, so this is a rare chance to cross comets off your celestial bucket list.

According to astronomy experts, Comet Wirtanen is thought to be an old comet that has been around the sun many times.

A comet which has been getting nearer and nearer to the Earth in recent months will soon make its closest approach yet.

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Some have theorised that said star could have, in fact, been a comet. Instead, it will probably look more like a fuzzy ball of light, which could prove very hard to see in a light-polluted sky.

A couple of days later, it will have moved slightly to the northeast, but if you've already observed it, it should be much easier for you to find it again. However, it will also help if you know roughly where to look in the night sky.

"We want to give the general public a close up look at this comet in powerful telescopes".

The Sun writes that, "sky gazers can catch a glimpse of 46P/Wirtanen on Wednesday evening by heading to a dark spot and looking south, as the comet is so bright it will be visible to the naked eye".

Anyone hoping to observe a comet from the ground should try and use a decent pair of binoculars.

The comet 46P/Wirtanen, which passes Earth every 5.4 years, was one of three comets discovered by Carl Wirtanen in 1948 at the Lick Observatory in California.