How to view rare comet making its first appearance in 50,000 years

NASA says a glowing green comet will make an appearance for the first time in 50,000 years.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:37 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 7:02 PM EST
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NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - For the first time in 50,000 years, a green comet is making an appearance in the night sky.

It’s visible now but you’ll need to use a telescope or binoculars to see.

On January 12 the comet is at its closest point to the sun. To see it you either love to stay up late or are an early riser.

The best viewing time with optical aid will either be past midnight or just before dawn.

For example, looking northeast around 6 a.m. on January 15th, the comet will be located between the Big Dipper, Vega, and Arcturus.

Later in the month, all indicators are is that the comet becomes more visible not only to the naked eye but earlier in the evening.

By January 28 at 11 p.m., the comet will be visible above and slightly right of Ursa Minor. On January 31 just after sunset, at a much more reasonable time, you’ll be able to see it above Ursa Minor too.

On February 2, the comet will be at its closest point to the Earth. Expect to see a fuzzy little ball with extensions but don’t expect to see a vibrant, green comet like the picture.

“A photograph will always outdo what you see with the naked eye. So, the human eye is meant to be in dark conditions, not meant to bump into things or see pretty colors, so when we look at the sky through telescopes, people are disappointed that it doesn’t look like the Hubble Telescope pictures,” said Kristine Larsen, Astronomy Professor at Central Connecticut State University.

If you don’t have binoculars or a telescope and want to see the comet, look to the north during the evening hours at the end of January and early February and look for it near the Little Dipper.

Remember to try and be away from city lights in a dark area.

Comet passes Earth for the first time in 50,000 years