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Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova Comet Show to Welcome New Year
New Year Eve will have a special treat for sky gazers as comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will make a close flyby. The comet travels across our solar system every five years. The comet will be visible after sunset on December 31, 2016. With clear sky, it would be visible even with normal binoculars for sky gazers. The comet will be visible near the moon in the night sky.
Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is named after astronomers who first spotted it in 1948. Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is a periodic comet witnessed in the inner solar system every five years.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory informed that sky gazers will be easily able to spot the comet on last day of the year. The comet is also known by its shorter nickname, Comet 45P.
NASA informed that sky gazers will be able to see many interesting comet shows in year 2017. On February 11, Comet 45P will be close to our planet. On that day, the comet will be nearly 7.5 million miles away from Earth.
Kevin D. Conod, the planetarium manager and astronomer at the Newark Museum's Dreyfuss Planetarium said, "If you plan to view it, you will need to find a good spot with a clear view of the southwestern horizon. The comet is only 10 degrees above the horizon at 6 p.m."
In a post on its social media account, NASA JPL said, “Say farewell to 2016 in cosmic style by looking up to see the #NewYearsEve #comet on December 31.”
A report published on NJ.com informed, “Assuming the sky is clear, star gazers should use either a good pair of binoculars or a telescope and point them to the western sky shortly after the sun goes down.”
Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková has been building in prominence since first appearing in our skies on December 15 and will be more than 7 million miles away from Earth on New Year’s Eve, but skygazers should be able to see it through binoculars or a telescope, provided they’re not too bleary eyed themselves.