Comet 45P to make appearance on New Year's Eve

You may want to take a break from ringing in the new year on Saturday to check out Comet 45P which will be at that time reaching its closet point to the sun in its five-year orbit.

Comet 45P, whose proper name is Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, will be visible in the night sky, just after dusk.

You’ll need binoculars to see the comet, it’s too faint for the naked eye. 45P will get closer to Earth over the next several weeks, and be the closest to us on Feb. 11 when it will be a mere 7.4 million miles away. You may be able to see it without binoculars then.

Here’s how to find it:

Comet 45P is in the constellation Capricornus, close to Venus. Venus is bright in the sky and gives off a red color. 45P will be very low in the sky.

Look to the southwestern horizon to try to spot it. It will be about 10 degrees above the horizon at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. It will be close to the crescent moon in the southwestern part of the night sky – look about 3 degrees to the left of the moon to help spot it. It will appear greenish.

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