A COMET will be making its way past Earth over the next four weeks for the first time in 50,000 years.
The last time the green comet made this trip was when Neanderthals and early Homo Sapiens roamed Earth.
It will be the first time the comet will be gazed upon by modern human eyes.
Rookie astronomers should keep their eyes to the night skies on January 12, February 1 and February 10 – when the comet will be most visible.
The comet will first pass the Sun on January 12, where it will be visible to the naked eye.
According to projections by scientists, it will then tilt towards Earth on February 1, where it will be closest to the planet on its trip around our galaxy.
Experts recommend looking out on February 10 when the comet will be closer to Mars.
However, those pencilling the dates into their calendars should be reminded that the brightness of all comets is unpredictable.
While scientists can warn folks when a dazzling display should appear, there is little telling how visible it will be on the night.
A cloudy sky can quickly scupper sight-seeing plans.
The comet, which has been left unnamed since it was discovered by researchers in March last year, is heading northbound towards the Corona Borealis constellation.
Researchers at the Zwicky Transient Facility, part of the California Institute of Technology’s Palomar Observatory, spotted the comet when it just inside Jupiter’s orbit – around 399 million miles away from the Sun.
Scientists expect the comet to pull away from Earth and zoom back into deep space after making its closest swoop towards our planet at the beginning of next month.
The James Webb Space Telescope will be keeping an eye on the green comet, but it won’t be taking any pictures, Nicolas Biver, an astrophysicist at the Paris Observatory told France 24.
The $10billion telescope will instead look at what exactly the comet is made up of.
Comets are mostly made up of dust, ice and gases.
But figuring out the comet’s exact material composition can help scientists uncover more about how our solar system came to exist.
The heat from the Sun melts the comet’s layers, so the closer it gets, the better scientists can study its makeup.
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