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Blazing Comet to Brighten New Year's Eve Sky

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NASA  GETTYA strange blue comet is set to fly past the Earth on New Year's Eve

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory took to social media to inform the world that a comet will be viewable from Earth, through binoculars, as people welcome in 2017 on Saturday night.

In an Instagram post, the JPL wrote, "Say farewell to 2016 in cosmic style by looking up to see the #NewYearsEve #comet on December 31". Looking like a bright star Venus would be visible in the western sky along with Mars and Neptune.

Most people consider comets as bad omens, but comet 45P is not threatening for us.

This year, it was first visible on the low western horizon on December 15.

Fireworks are the traditional way to ring in the new year, but for those wishing to mark the year's end more quietly, astronomers have offered a solution: a comet.

Comet 45P
NASAComet 45P is visible from Earth every five and a half years

CNN says the comet, whose real name is Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, will reach the point of orbit when it is closest to the sun on New Year's Eve. Dr. David Reitzel, an astronomical lecturer at Griffith Observatory in California, told USA Today that see Comet 45P again when it comes closer to Earth. So if you can spot it on New Year's Eve, look out for it then.

Interested skywatchers will need a set of binoculars or a small telescope to really be able to see the comet in clear skies.

This isn't the comet's first pass of the planet.

The comet returns to our solar system every five or so years, according to NASA. In fact, Reitzel said people can take a peek at Comet 45P when it's closer to Earth - about 7.5 million miles away - on February 11.

Scientists consider December a solid month for watching planets, but unfortunately the Geminid shower won't happen this year, because the bright moon washed it out this year.

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