The brightest week of the brightest comet in the night sky is scheduled for the near flyby
- The comet 46P / Wirtanen is already close enough to be seen with a telescope
- NASA says it will be closer to 16 December, when it may be visible to the naked eye
- The periodic comet can be seen over the eastern horizon and casts light green
A comet set to approach the Earth next week is now the brightest comet in the night sky, projecting a green glow over the head that extends like Jupiter.
The comet 46P / Wirtanen follows an orbit of 5.4 years, and is already close enough to be seen with a telescope or even with binoculars.
And, NASA says you may soon be able to spot it with the naked eye
The bright green comet will be closest to Earth on December 16, when it will be best seen just above the eastern horizon.
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A comet set to approach the Earth next week is now the brightest comet in the night sky, projecting a green glow above the head extending over the whole the width of Jupiter. Astronomers have documented his approach over the last month
NASA shared a breathtaking picture just last month of the comet that brightly lit in the sky as it makes its way to its neighbors approaches with the sun and the Earth.
It will be closer to the sun on the 12th, according to Earthsky, before approaching our planet a few days later.
The picture, shared as part of the Astronomy image of the day of NASA, shows comet 46P / Wirtanen when it was still too far from the naked eye.
"From dark sky sites, however, it could only be with the naked eye, since its 5.4-year-old orbit leads it closer to Earth and the sun in mid-December," explains NASA of the photo , taken by Alex Cherney (Terrastro, TWAN).
& # 39; Fluorescent in the light of the sun, its spherical coma is about half the angular dimensions of a full moon in this telescope view of the southern hemisphere of 7 November.
& # 39; comet was about 2 minutes-light or 35 million kilometers from land-based telescopes, so the beautiful greenish coma seen here is about 150,000 kilometers.
"This makes the size of Jupiter."
Comet 46P / Wirtanen follows an orbit of 5.4 years, and is already close enough to be seen with a telescope or even with binoculars . And NASA says that you may soon be able to spot it with the naked eye
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SPACE ROCKS
An asteroid is a large piece of rock left over from collisions or the first solar system. Most are located between Mars and Jupiter in the main belt.
A comet is a rock covered in ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits take them much farther from the solar system
A meteor is what astronomers call a flash of light in the atmosphere when debris is consumed.  This debris is known as meteoroid . Most are so small that they are vaporized in the atmosphere.
If any of this meteoroid arrives on Earth, it is called meteorite .
Meteor, meteoroids and meteorites normally come from asteroids and comets.
For example, if the Earth passes through the tail of a comet, most of the debris burns in the atmosphere, forming a shower of meteorites.
Even amateur astronomers have followed the object as it approaches our planet.
The Twitter user Terry Lovejoy emphasized at the start of this week that Comet 46P is now close enough to be seen even in areas with a lot of light pollution.
But for the best viewing opportunity, you'll want to find a spot next week with little interference from the city lights.