It’s known as 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková
Like a scene out of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, a comet will cross the moon this New Year’s Eve. According to NASA, 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková has been slowly traversing the night sky and should be easy to see this Saturday night when it flies near a crescent moon. The comet will be visible shortly after sunset for a few hours.
Depending on how clear the skies are in your area, the comet should be visible through binoculars or a telescope. Just look for a bluish/green body with a long tail. While you gaze upon the comet, the planets Venus and Mars will be visible as well. Venus will be the brightest object in the night sky and you’ll find Mars just above it, awash in a reddish glow.
45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková was discovered by Minoru Honda in 1948 and is named after Honda as well as astronomers Antonin Mrkos and Ľudmila Pajdušáková. It’s believed the comet’s nucleus is between 0.5 and 1.16 kilometers in diameter.
Here is the comet’s current location in the night sky from Los Angeles, California.
Enter your location here to see its position in your sky.