Ghostly Green Comet and Lunar Eclipse Dazzle on Same Night
Comet 45P will make its closest pass by Earth mere hours after the moon slides through our planet’s shadow—here’s how to see them.
Over the next few days, sky-watchers will have the chance to spot a pale green comet zipping by Earth as it makes one of its closest flybys in years.
Comet 45P/Honda–Mrkos–Pajdušáková (or Comet 45P for short) has been slowly brightening since it rounded the sun on New Year’s Eve. As it heads back into the outer solar system, it will pass within 7.4 million miles of Earth—about 32 times farther away from us than the moon.
This relatively close approach will happen at 3 a.m. ET on February 11. During that time, the comet will sweep across early morning skies for observers across the Northern Hemisphere, moving higher over the pre-dawn horizon and out of the twilight glare.
While there is absolutely no