Apart from the traditional fireworks and illuminated ball in Times Square, look for a blazing comet to light the night sky on New Year’s Eve.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said a comet may be visible as people welcome in 2017 on Saturday.
“Say farewell to 2016 in cosmic style by looking up to see the #NewYearsEve #comet on December 31,” the laboratory said in a Wednesday Instagram post.
Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will be near the moon on New Year’s Eve, NASA said.
The comet, NASA said, was expected to appear in the western horizon on Dec. 15 and had a bluish-green head by Dec. 21. The comet is a periodic comet, which returns to the inner solar system about every 5 years.
Dr. David Reitzel, an astronomical lecturer at Griffith Observatory in California, said the comet is visible now using a telescope or strong binoculars. On Saturday, people should point their instruments to the west just after sunset to catch a glimpse of the comet, which will be just to the left of the crescent moon. For a good view, go somewhere away from residential lights.
It looks like 2017 may be a good year for comet spotting. NASA said people will be able to view several throughout the year. In fact, Reitzel said people can take a peak at Comet 45P when it’s closer to Earth — about 7.5 million miles away — on Feb. 11.