10/02/2017 14:51 GMT | Updated 10/02/2017 16:50 GMT

The Beautiful Green Comet 45P Is Going To Light Up The Night Sky Tonight

It won't return until 2022!

Stargazers in the UK will tonight be treated to something rather special.

Appearing in the night sky will be Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova a stunning green comet that has been showing its face since around mid-December.

Also known as the ‘New Year Comet’, 45P will be making its best pass for UK stargazers tonight (10 Feb).

From around midnight onwards you should be able to see the green comet through a low-power telescope or even a pair of binoculars.

How To View Comet 45P

Your best chance of finding Comet 45P in the night sky will be through the use of technology.

You can download a range of excellent stargazing apps for your iPhone or Android device such as: Star Walk 2, Sky Guide or SkyView.

All of them will be able to overlay the night sky through your iPhone screen using the camera helping you find these sights with relative ease.

What is a comet?


Ever wondered what makes up the ingredients for your common garden comet? Well NASA’s official description is as follows:

“A comet’s nucleus is like a dirty snowball made of ice. As the comet gets closer to the Sun, some of the ice starts to melt and boil off, along with particles of dust. These particles and gases make a cloud around the nucleus, called a coma.”

After flying by Hercules, it will move on to Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), Boötes (the Herdsman), Canes Venatici (Boötes’ hunting dogs) and Ursa Major, according to NASA’s website

The comet, also known as Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, is a regular visitor to our skies. It made 11 close approaches to Earth in the last century, but it won’t be back again till 2022.

Best Astronomy Photographs Of 2016

  • 14
    Stephen Voss
    Auroral Nuggets
  • 13
    Richard Inman
    Antarctic Space Station
  • 12
    Rick Whitacre
    Between the Rocks
  • 11
    Tommy Richardson
    Crystal Brilliance
  • 10
    Nicholas Roemmelt
    Frozen Giant
  • 9
    Philippe Jacquot
    ISS under Venus and the Moon
  • 8
    Ivan Eder
    M8 Lagoon Nebula
  • 7
    Giles Rocholl
    The northern lights illuminate the lagoon at Jokulsarlon, Iceland photo tour, February 2016
  • 6
    Sean Goebel
    Parallel Mountains
  • 5
    Lee Cook
  • 4
    Katherine Young
    Rise Lunation
  • 3
    Rune Engebø
    Seven Magic Points
  • 2
    Melanie Thorne
    The Diamond Ring
  • 1
    Michael Jäeger
    The Disconnection Event