Before You Head Out, Here’s How You Can See The New Year’s Eve Comet Tonight

Photo: JTB Photo/UIG/REX/Shutterstock.
If you opt to spend New Year's Eve far from Times Square or other urban celebrations, you might be rewarded with a special treat. In place of fireworks and an LED ball, you can watch a blue-green, fan-tailed comet streak across the night sky. If you're in the right place at the right time, Comet 45p will be quite a beautiful sight. According to NASA, this comet, also known as the Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková comet, has been passing by since December 15. It's a periodic comet that orbits every five-and-a-quarter years. On December 31, it approaches the crescent moon to the west. You'll have to be in the right coordinates; in a place with little light pollution; and have, at the least, a set of binoculars handy. Visit's Online Planetarium and input your location to see if and when the comet will be visible. In New York, for example, it can be seen for a couple of hours after sunset — if the sky is clear and dark enough. If conditions aren't perfect, at least you'll get a nice view of Venus, which is looking particularly bright this time of year.

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