We have been treated to a heart-pounding celestial event recently when an asteroid flew really close to Earth in January, as well as several amazing astronomical sights in February. Some people may even be excitedly waiting for 2022 when the Earth would bear witness to the collision of two stars.
Now NASA confirms that we will also get the chance to watch the closest approach of a comet that took more than a century to properly identify - and it is happening on the night of April Fools' Day! All you need to watch comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák fly by is either a telescope or an internet connection.
The April Fools' Comet
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák has been dubbed the "April Fools' Comet" but note that the nickname is only for this year's approach. This is because comet 41P only passes by Earth in its travel between Jupiter and the sun every 5.4 years and, despite being near the Earth for around six days, it will most be visible for your viewing pleasure on April 1, hence the moniker.
According to NASA, comet 41P's 2017 approach will be the closest to Earth recorded in a century and its brightness would most likely allow it to be visible to the naked eye - at least to the people in the Northern Hemisphere. But don't despair because Slooh.com has our backs and it has pointed its telescopes toward comet 41P's trail.
How To Watch Comet 41P
As mentioned above, Slooh.com prepared its telescopes and live streamed comet 41P's journey as it approached closest to the Earth in more than a century - a distance of 0.44 astronomical units or 13 million miles.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) April 1, 2017
Comet 41P shines bright green as it travels in space, so it is easy to spot with the proper tools. NASA also says it has a history of outbursts, so if the sky is clear and it experiences similar flare-ups, it can be spotted easily with the naked eye.
Watch the recorded video below as comet 41P approached.
Where Is Comet 41P Now?
Watching the live version of the astronomical event is definitely an amazing experience, but for those who did not make it to Slooh's webcast and still want to catch a glimpse of the visiting comet, you don't have to wait another 5.4 years.
That is because comet 41P is still around and can be tracked with powerful telescopes until the middle of April. The only catch is that it will not be as close as it was during the live stream. If that is fine with you, then point your telescopes toward the direction of Draco and Ursa Major and look for the flying object with a greenish light making its way toward the sun.